Mayoral pay raise on the way
Town Council gave initial approval Wednesday to increasing the mayor's pay to $45,000.
Council voted 5-0, with Mayor Bill Collins recusing himself and Councilman Bob Jackson absent, to give first reading to an ordinance that would increase Collins's pay beginning in January.
The salary would revert to $15,000 on Dec. 31, 2015, unless council acts in the meantime.
Councilman Aaron Brown wanted to amend the ordinance to include a requirement that the mayor report monthly to council on the town's progress.
Council did Collins a disservice by having him take on administrative duties without giving him a clear job description, Brown said.
Other council members said such a requirement doesn't belong in the code of ordinances, but agreed to offer a resolution before the ordinance is adopted that would make clear council's expectations of the mayor.
Jackson has previously opposed the increase, but was out of town Wednesday. Council should first define the position of mayor, then determine the correct salary, he's said in the past.
He's said he would have to look at the final wording before deciding whether to vote in favor of the increase.
When Collins took office in June 2011, the town was in the midst of a search for a new town administrator.
Rather than continuing with the search however, council agreed to let Collins take on additional duties. He had run for office on the premise he would be able to devote full-time attention to the job because he was retired.
By forgoing an administrator, the town saved on salary costs. Former Administrator Dennis Pieper was earning almost $122,000, plus benefits.
Collins said Wednesday he was appreciative of council's vote.
“I feel like that's fair,” he said.
Collins said he thinks the town is running well with him taking on administrative duties, though the final assessment belongs to residents.
He's not opposed to town administrators, but if the town were to hire an administrator in the future it should be someone who would live in town, he said.
The town's previous administrators haven't been town residents.