Update Aug. 14, 2013: The city mayor, Jim Connors, vetoed the council pay raise.
To see his letter to the city clerk and board members, click here.
Check with the Regional News for more on this issue.
Raises for members of the Lake Geneva City Council and the mayor will start to kick in after the next round of municipal elections in 2014.
But it’s still not the way to get rich.
On a 5-2 vote, with one alderman excused, the council voted to raise the mayor’s annual pay from $6,000 to $7,500, and pay for council members from $3,500 to $4,000.
Alderwoman Sarah Hill, who chairs the council’s finance, license and regulation committee, moved to approve pay raises.
“I think it’s a serious job with serious responsibilities,” Hill said.
She said elected officials’ compensation was an issue that probably should be studied annually, but, she added, “I’m sure it won’t be studied every year.”
The last pay raise for the mayor and council members was in 2008. Hill said she was sure it would be another five years before the council discussed raises again.
Aldermen Jeff Wall and Sturg Taggart voted against the raise.
This council won’t see those pay increases. Those elected in the 2014 and 2015 municipal elections will receive the raises
Wall said he didn’t think the pay raise was needed.
“We’re here to give back to the community,” Wall said.
Mayor Jim Connors also said he believed the raises were too much as proposed.
“I think you’re asking too much,” Connors said.
There were some lighter moments during the debate.
“I’d really like a raise,” said Alderwoman Ellyn Kehoe. “I really would like a seat that’s up higher so I can see what’s going on.”
“That’s a different kind of raise, however,” replied Connors. Kehoe went on to say that the raise will mean a few extra bucks for council members, but it should also be a reminder to council members to do their jobs and come prepared, she said.
At the Aug. 5 committee of the whole meeting, City Clerk Mike Hawes presented a study of compensation for elected officials in municipalities with populations between 5,000 and 15,000.
He found that the median pay for mayors and village presidents was $7,200 and $3,600 for council members and trustees.