Crown Point considers extra pay for elected officials for attending meetings
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent September 12, 2012 9:32PM
Updated: October 15, 2012 9:29AM
CROWN POINT — A plan in the works to pay elected officials a stipend for attending board, commission and committee meetings could mean at least a $6,000 pay increase for the mayor and clerk-treasurer as well as boosts for City Council members.
Mayor David Uran and Clerk-Treasurer Patti Olson currently do not receive pay to attend the city’s Board of Works and Public Safety meetings. Under a new salary ordinance for elected officials approved last week, that would change in 2013.
Under the current proposal, elected officials serving on the Board of Works would receive a $250 per meeting stipend, Plan Commission members a $150 per meeting stipend, and Board of Zoning Appeals and Redevelopment Commission members would receive $100 per meeting. Officials would receive the stipend only if they attend the meeting. The Board of Works meets about twice a month.
For some City Council members, the increase in pay for the mayor and clerk-treasurer would be a step in the right direction.
Councilman Mark Schweitzer, R-at large, said it is not right there is little margin between the pay for the city’s top executive officer and top clerk and the next highest ranking member in those departments. He said if he had realized they were not paid extra to attend the Board of Works meetings, he would have changed it years ago.
“Shame on us for not having those positions paid,” Schweitzer said.
Council President Andrew Kyres, D-3, said the pay for those positions should be competitive not only with other similar positions in the public sector but the private sector as well if the city wants to continue to attract top candidates in the future.
“We are working with a multimillion-dollar budget. We want someone who has that competency,” Kyres said.
Councilman Bill Feder, D-at large, said he is against the stipend idea for elected officials. Feder said raises for elected officials including the council, mayor and clerk-treasurer should be an across the board percentage like the 2 percent increase full-time employees received in 2012. Elected officials have not received a raise for five years.