Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Georgetown City Council members Jeanette Ard and Paige Sawyer will attend their final meeting as members of that governing body Thursday evening and one of the things they will help decide is how much future council members and the mayor will be paid.
Ard and Sawyer were defeated in last month’s election. They will be replaced in January by newly-elected members Carol Jayroe and Ed Kimbrough.
It’s a topic that was first discussed in August but came up for a first reading vote in November. The motion to increase the pay passed by a vote of 4-3 at that meeting but it was said the amount of the pay hike would be debated before second reading.
Ard, Sawyer and Clarence Smalls cast the three ‘no’ votes at the November meeting.
Right now, council members receive a stipend of $4,800 per year. The motion that passed last month is to increase that amount to $$18,000. The mayor currently receives $7,500. The ordinance revision proposal calls for that to jump to $24,000.
Based on comments made by council members last month, those proposed amounts are expected to be adjusted before Thursday night’s vote takes place.
Mayor jack Scoville, who initiated the increase conversation, said the pay for council and the mayor has been the same since 1984 and there is more demand on the time of the council members.
Smalls said the reason he voted against the proposal is because of the amount.
“That is entirely too much money. We all have jobs,” he said.
Sawyer said the city has not been growing so neither should the pay.
“The government should not grow if the city is not growing,” he said. “If we have this money, we should divvy it up and give it back to the taxpayers.”
Ard said she does not see service on council as a job.
“We went many, many years without employees getting raises. Since the city wasn’t growing, maybe council did not deserve raises all those years,” she said.
Councilman Rudolph Bradley voted in favor, saying a pay increase “is the right thing to do.”
Thursday’s meeting begins at 5;30 p.m. at Georgetown City Hall.
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