Wednesday, August 21, 2013
GEORGETOWN S.C. — Georgetown Mayor Jack Scoville admits less than three months before Election Day is not the best time to bring up the topic of pay raises for himself and City Council.
But, he said if a new pay plan is not approved before November, a pay increase cannot take effect until January, 2016.
That’s because state law dictates a pay hike for elected officials can only be implemented through an ordinance amendment and cannot take effect before an election. After November, the next city election isn’t until 2015.
Scoville — who brought up the issue at last week’s council meeting — said he does not like bringing up the topic at this time but “if I did not bring it up now, we would have to wait two more years until it can take effect.”
Currently the mayor is paid $7,200 annually while council members make $4,800. They also have the option of being provided health insurance through the city.
According to City Risk Manager Cindi Howard, everyone on council — with the exception of Scoville — has the coverage.
“They each pick up a portion the same as city employees depending on their elected coverage plan,” Howard said.
Scoville said the pay for council and mayor has been the same since 1984. He was asked how much of a pay increase will be suggested.
“I do not know. But if we just did a cost of living increase that would be 125 percent since 1984,” he said. “I am not saying we should do it. I just wanted to get some publicity on it. Hopefully people will be sympathetic when they realize it has been nearly 30 years” without an increase, Scoville said.
At last week’s meeting Scoville said council has more demands on its time, such as workshops to review complex issues and concerns. And they meet more often than they did in years past.
Council member Paige Sawyer said he does not agree with talking about the issue during an election year.
By Scott Harper
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