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Mayor, city council wrangle over pay
by Liz Marino
February 06, 2013 11:59 AM | 1147 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Douglasville City Council continued discussions Monday night on what the mayor called “fair and adequate compensation.”

At the Jan. 31 finance committee meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Larry Yockey presented a proposal to give the part-time mayor a $40,000 salary, along with use of a city-owned vehicle.

Under Yockey’s proposal, members of the city council would receive $16,000 per year compensation for their services.

City records indicate that for 2012, the mayor received $36,621 in salary plus an additional $4,800 in expenses, which would reflect a modest decrease within Yockey’s current proposal.

Council members were paid an average of $9,125 plus an additional $1,800 each in expenses in 2012.

Frederick Perry, human resources director for the city, presented survey results from 20 respondents of 25 cities of similar size, which included Carrollton and Smyrna, regarding how they compensate their elected officials.

Mayor Harvey Persons said that the “only consistent thing is there is no consistency” to compensation.

“What it boils down to is ‘fair and adequate.’ We’ve had fair and open discussions,” said Persons, citing transparency in discussions held between himself and the council.

During the last finance committee meeting, Councilman Dennis McLain commented, “Keep in mind, we’re servants – not kings – and I think the citizens will support us if we do the right thing.”

Yockey is working on a revised salary proposal which he plans to bring before the council at their next finance committee meeting set for Feb. 14. Although any increase in compensation will not take effect until Jan. 1, 2014, the city needs to agree to the mayor and council’s compensation before the budgeting process begins.

A tentative date of March 18 has been set for a public hearing, at which time the council will follow with a vote.

Committee meetings, like council work sessions and regular voting meetings, are open to the public and generally begin at 5 p.m. in the upstairs board room at city hall.

The council will move its meetings to the new conference center auditorium across from city hall beginning Feb. 28, according to City Manager Bill Osborne. Committee meetings will meet in the conference center boardroom, followed by work sessions or regular voting meetings at 7:30 p.m.

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