Crown Point council OKs 2% raise for mayor, clerk-treasurer
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent September 27, 2012 8:56PM
Updated: October 29, 2012 6:55AM
CROWN POINT — The mayor and clerk-treasurer will get a 2 percent raise in 2013 and the City Council members will get nothing under the final version of a budget unanimously approved in a special City Council meeting Thursday.
Councilman Mark Schweitzer, R-At large, suggested the last-minute changes that would eliminate a proposed $250 stipend per meeting for elected officials serving as Board of Works members. The stipend would have come to about $6,000 a year, equivalent to an almost 6 percent salary increase for both positions.
He said council members would take some time to gather information on what other council members in the region are paid before making a decision on their own salaries.
Schweitzer said the move to a percentage increase was a compromise he came up with based on the discussions the council and budget committee have had on the issue.
Council members earlier in the budget process had proposed increasing salaries for all elected officials, citing the amount of work the part-time council puts in on the board, commission and committee meetings they attend. The mayor and clerk-treasurer’s salaries were of particular concern to council members who said some of the city’s department heads were making more money than the city’s top two executives.
Councilman Bill Feder, D-At Large, opposed the per meeting stipend in lieu of an across the board percentage increase. Councilwoman Laura Sauerman, R-4 opposed the increases altogether.
“I’m trying to find a happy meeting place,” Schweitzer said after the meeting.
The 2 percent raise the mayor and clerk-treasurer will receive is the same increase as all full-time city employees received in 2012. If the 2013 budget is approved by the state, full-time employees this year stand to receive a stipend of up to $1,000. The mayor and clerk-treasurer will be included in that as well if it happens.
Feder after the meeting said he did not approve of the meeting pay and preferred a plan that would increase the mayor’s and clerk-treasurers salaries.
“I support the mayor and clerk-treasurer getting a 2 percent raise,” Feder said. “It’s a better avenue than the committee meeting route.”
The changes to the elected official salary ordinance will have to be finalized Monday during the regular council meeting. If the changes are not approved, the money that was appropriated in the budget for the increases can be moved to another item, according to Clerk-Treasurer Patti Olson.