No closer than 180 days before newly-elected city officials take office next May, the city council must, per state law, set compensation for them via ordinances. This could happen tonight, at the next regular meeting, or possibly in early November if all else fails.
Compensation is set now in order to help eliminate the conflict of interest that would be created by a council’s setting its own pay, or that of a clerk they like personally. It’s supposed to be about the jobs, not the personalities involved.
I don’t mind if this council talks about raising the next council’s compensation. A few years ago, council members cut the council’s and mayor’s compensation by 10% during the last budget crisis in a “share the pain” gesture that was not reciprocated by anyone else. So restore it.* Even better, raise it a little more and take committee assignments, too.
Speaking of fixing things, you already know my view that higher compensation is key to restoring the elected, at-large DeKalb city clerk’s office. Tonight at the committee of the whole (CoW) meeting at 5 pm, council will discuss the clerk’s analysis of possible job structure, and she has included the input she gathered from a dozen citizens a week ago Saturday. I do feel that the clerk describes our views very well, and I hope you will read it.
The possible setting of the compensation happens during the regular council meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 6 pm.
Hope to see you there.
* My best recollection is that council members make $5,000 per year and that the mayor collects $22,500. I did check budgets, but I believe part of the legislative department goes to the bandleader of the DeKalb Municipal Band, so I couldn’t be sure of having 100% accuracy.