The discussion last Thursday night during a finance committee meeting was the follow-up to a resolution passed by the council Oct. 1 declaring the city council’s decision to change the method of compensation for the city of Douglasville’s elected officials from a per meeting basis to a monthly salary basis.
Any change would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
Councilman Doug Lequire has been a strong proponent of acting quickly regarding the change, and brought his salary recommendation for council scrutiny.
Lequire’s proposal would reflect an 18 percent decrease in the mayor’s current salary, while providing a 34 to 62 percent salary increase to council members.
In 2012, the mayor received a $36,621 in compensation and $400 to cover monthly expenses.
Under Lequire’s plan, the mayor would receive $2,500 per month totaling a $30,000 annual salary and $200 per month for expenses, entailing a 50 percent cut.
Under his proposed plan, each of the seven council members would receive $1,200 per month compensation, with an additional $200 per month in expenses.
Each of the seven council members received an average pay of $9,696 in 2012.
Lequire defended his recommendation, stating that he had conferred with most of the other council members prior to submitting it to the finance committee.
“My objective is to get it done,” said Lequire.
Mark Adams, finance committee chairman, said he had a problem increasing the city council’s salary, while decreasing the mayor’s pay.
“I would lean much more toward reducing the amount of increase that we had because I for one did not come onto the council expecting a pay raise,” Adams said.
Mayor Pro Tem Larry Yockey noted that the city council had not had an increase in 14 years.
“Our intent is to give us a fair and equitable amount for the work we perform,” he said. “It looks crazy that we are giving ourselves an increase, but that is not our intent.”
Mayor Harvey Persons agreed that there is nothing wrong with being compensated for the work begin done by the mayor and council.
“We want to make sure we do our due diligence,” said Persons. “When we make a decision, we want to make it on facts and information gathering and then we make the decision.”
Upon determining a salary recommendation, the mayor and council will hold a public hearing.