By Donna Thornton/News Editor
Gadsden City Councilman Robert Avery proposed what he said was a difficult measure at the Feb. 18 council meeting – one that would increase the mayor’s and city council member’s salaries during the next term of office.
Avery explained his reasoning: There is now one city employee making more money than the mayor and before long, there will be a couple more with higher wages that the city’s top official.
By law, a city council cannot raise salaries for itself, so action must be taken to increase salaries for whoever will hold those positions after city elections, and the measure must be approved six months before a city election.
Gadsden has city elections in August, so Avery said he had to introduce the ordinance now – during an election year .
Currently, the mayor of the City of Gadsden is set at $90,000 per year. Avery’s ordinance would raise it to $110,000 a year.
Salaries for the city council president is 12 percent of the salary provided for the mayor, plus $100 for each meeting attended. Council members received 9.6 percent of the mayor’s salary plus $100 for each meeting they attend.
Giving the mayor a raise automatically raises the salary of the members of the council.
Avery said he needed to introduce the ordinance at the Feb. 18 meeting so the council could vote on the issue at the next meeting.