C.P. council split on proposed pay increases

2012-09-12T22:00:00Z 2012-09-13T07:18:40Z C.P. council split on proposed pay increasesSusan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com
September 12, 2012 10:00 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | City Council members didn't all agree Wednesday on increased compensation for city officeholders.

Most of the seven Crown Point council members at a workshop on the 2013 city budget appeared willing to support a proposal compensating themselves and other elected officials for previously unpaid meeting attendance rather than grant a direct pay increase.

Councilman Bill Feder, D-at large, said increased compensation should be written into the budget as a salary increase rather than granted on a per-meeting basis.

"Why hide it?" Feder said. "I'd rather see it included in the salary ordinance."

The salary ordinance sets salaries for elected officials.

Councilwoman Laura Sauerman, R-4th, said she remains opposed to a salary increase for elected officials.

The proposed $21.1 million 2013 budget is up for preliminary City Council consideration Monday. The ordinance setting elected officials' salaries goes before the council Oct. 1.

Under the current proposal, committee meeting attendance would earn $50 a meeting. Committee meetings are separate from regular City Council meetings, and up to now have not been paid. Council members' yearly salaries of $7,023 each would remain the same in 2013.

The mayor would be paid $250 per meeting for heading Board of Public Works and Safety meetings, usually held twice a month. The role currently is not compensated outside the mayor's yearly salary of $74,650, which would not increase next year.

The clerk-treasurer would be paid $125 per meeting for recording Board of Public Works and Safety meetings and City Council meetings, which up to now also has not been compensated outside of the clerk's $73,055 yearly pay.

City workers are in line next year for a $1,000 stipend per full-time employee, in lieu of a salary in increase, should the budget receive final state approvals.

Councilman Mark Schweitzer, R-at large, said granting a salary increase to elected officials and not to city employees "is probably not the right thing to do."

Councilman Bob Clemons, R-2nd, supported the per-meeting pay.

"We're just asking for a little compensation here. I don't think it's a king's ransom," he said.

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