Friday, June 22, 2012

Douglas pay: Still waiting

The Douglas City Council had 100 percent attendance Monday night but took zero action on its own proposal to raise council member’s pay.

The council has delayed action since May 21 because Jane Mayer, the main proponent of the increase, had been absent. The issue did not come up again on June 4 when Mayer was absent again.

On Monday, she was present but no one on the council brought up the issue, so it remained tabled. The increase is in the new budget adopted at Monday’s meeting.

When council members voted the first time on the issue, the proposal passed by one vote. Mayer supported the increase. Without her support on the second vote, the motion would have been tied and would have failed, assuming council members would have followed their earlier balloting.

The proposal is to raise council pay by $15 per meeting.

The possible increase was brought up in September and again in April by  Mayer who wants council members paid the same as members of other city boards. Council members make $35 per meeting and meet twice a month. Planning commissioners make $50 and meet regularly once a month.

At $35 a meeting, with two meetings a month, a council member makes $840 a year. If all seven members attend every meeting, that’s $5,880 total a year for the entire council.

With an increase to $50 a meeting, a council member would make $1,200 a year.  If all seven members attend every meeting, that’s $8,400 a year, an increase overall of $2,520.

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