WELLSBURG - Wellsburg City Council on Tuesday gave final approval to an ordinance raising the salaries of its members, the mayor, collector-treasurer and city clerk.
Council moved, by a 6-1 vote, to raise pay for whoever is serving on it after next year's election and by a 7-0 vote to raise pay for the mayor, collector-treasurer and city clerk.
Half of council's eight seats and the positions of mayor and collector-treasurer will be on ballots next year, and the raises will go into effect on July 1, the first day of their new terms.
Raises for the other four council seats and the city clerk will go into effect on July 1, 2015, after that year's election.
Following the recommendation of the city's finance committee, council members will receive $250 for attending council's regular monthly meeting, up from $100; and $50 for attending all other committee and special meetings, up from $5.
The mayor will receive $500 for attending the regular council meetings, up from $300; and $50 for special council meetings, for which the mayor didn't receive compensation in the past.
No provision was made for the mayor's attendance at committee meetings, which are chaired by a council member. The mayor leads the council meetings and may be called upon to break a tied vote.
The city clerk, who records minutes for regular and special council meetings, will receive $400 for the monthly meetings, up from $300; and $50 for special meetings, for which the clerk wasn't paid in the past.
The additional compensation for the various officials attending special and committee meetings depends on their attending those meetings, according to the ordinances approved by council.
The yearly salary of the collector-treasurer will increase from $20,000 to $27,000. A raise for the police chief, also an elected position, was discussed but dropped because the chief received an increase in pay in recent years.
While the police chief and collector-treasurer positions are described as full-time in city ordinances, compensation for the other city officials has been based upon attendance at meetings, though those officials may and often do serve the city outside the meetings.
Voting for the raises were 1st Ward Councilmen Bruce Hunter and Mike Mitchell, 2nd Ward Councilman Paul T. Billiard and Ron Michaux, 3rd Ward Councilman Randy Fletcher and 4th Ward Councilwoman Della Serevicz.
Fourth Ward Councilman Jeff Tarr voted against raises for council but supported the other raises. He couldn't be reached for comment. Third Ward Councilman Tom Diserio didn't attend the meeting.
Mayor Sue Simonetti said the raises are due because pay hasn't changed in 16 years for the mayor and council members and in six years for the collector-treasurer and city clerk.
No one from the public came to speak for or against the raises.
In related business, City Clerk Mary Blum announced the filing period for the city's April 2 primary election and June 11 general election will be held from Jan. 14 to 25, with forms and information available at the City Hall.
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