The Union Board of Aldermen will not pursue pay raises for elected officials this year.
At the personnel, finance and public works committee meeting Monday, aldermen agreed to leave elected official salaries as they are with little discussion.
The annual salaries are $3,900 for aldermen, $10,000 for the mayor; and $1 for the collector.
City Administrator Russell Rost said the board discusses salaries each October, so any changes would be made before election filing begins.
Rost noted that the practice of setting salaries has been criticized in the past because it appears that aldermen approve their own salaries. However, it’s a misnomer, he said, because the salaries don’t go into effect the same term they’re approved. Any changes, increases or decreases, take effect the next term.
“Our aldermen felt it was more transparent to look at it in October or November because that way it’s out there and anyone who has an interest in filing goes in knowing that everything has been decided,” he said.
The mayor’s earnings are higher because he has more direct duties with the day-to-day operation of the city than aldermen do, Rost said. The mayor sets agendas, runs meetings, signs documents and other duties. Aldermen must prepare for each meeting and keep contact with constituents.
The mayor’s salary has been unchanged since December 2012 and aldermen’s salaries have been the same since February 2015. The collector salary was decreased to $1 when the city contracted with the county to collect its taxes in 2010 and has remained unchanged since that time.
Pacific aldermen recently requested a raise from $381 per month to $500 per month, or from $4,572 annually to $6,000 annually. The requested rate for the mayor was from $500 per month to $1,000 per month, or from $6,000 to $12,000 annually.
Pacific salaries are higher than both Union or St. Clair, but below those of Washington.
The city of Washington pays the mayor $12,000 per year and councilmen receive $6,000.
Last year, a proposal to increase salaries in Washington died after a salary review. The proposal was to raise the mayor’s salary by 50 percent, to $18,000 a year and council members to $10,000 per year.
St. Clair City Administrator Travis Dierker said elected official salaries have not been brought up since he’s been in his position. Aldermen currently receive $1,920 annually and the mayor is paid $2,400 annually.