Roanoke City Council delays pay hike vote - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Roanoke City Council delays pay hike vote

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ROANOKE, VA -

Roanoke City Council unanimously voted to delay a vote on proposed pay increases for the Mayor, Vice-Mayor, and other City Councilmembers during Monday afternoon's special session.

Councilman Sherman Lea first asked for a delay until the first Monday meeting in June (June 3rd).  Several other councilmembers joined Lea in calling for the delay.

Councilman Dr. David Trinkle called for additional public input, and revealed he has asked city staff to come up an alternative proposal that would have incremental pay increases up to the state maximum at a lower percentage than currently proposed.

The current proposals would:

  • Take city council salaries up to $20,000 per year, a more than 25% increase from the current pay of $15,560
  • Take the Vice-Mayor's salary up to $20,000 from its current $16,560, an increase of more than 20%
  • Take the Mayor's salary up to $23,000 from its current $20,000, an increase of 15%

Council has not had a pay increase since 2008, and voted to cut its pay during the Great Recession.  Their pay levels reverted to the 2008 level

After Dr. Trinkle's comments, Councilmembers Lea, Ray Ferris, and Bill Bestpitch each expressed concerns regarding how the debate over the proposed pay increase has been portrayed in editorials.

Lea took offense with an editorial calling the proposal an "abuse of power."

Ferris expressed frustration at an image portrayed in "The Roanoker" of City Council as the "best place in town to get a laugh," and of a political cartoon of the Mayor with a shoe on his plate, implying he would "stick his foot in his mouth."  Ferris added that if the perception is you're greedy, whether you are or are not, than that is the reality.

Bestpitch called for the debate to stick to the facts and figures, instead of charged rhetoric.

It was unclear at the end of the special session as to whether a special public hearing would be set for the May 20th 7:00 p.m. City Council session, regarding the proposed pay increase.

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