Washington City Council members won’t be looking to increase their salaries in the near future.
After reviewing a salary study Monday night, council members agreed to drop the idea of pay raises.
That study shows that salaries for Washington council members and the mayor are at the top among cities of comparable populations and budgets in Missouri.
City staff members were directed recently to research salaries paid by other cities and give a report to the council.
Information provided by the Missouri Municipal League compares 33 third- and fourth-class cities. Washington is a third-class city. The comparisons were discussed at the administrations/operations committee meeting.
The city of Eureka has the highest pay for council members at $7,200 a year.
Washington tied with one other city for the second highest pay at $6,000 per year. Other cities ranged from no compensation up to the $7,200 top salary.
Washington also is among the highest paid mayors, with only two cities paying their mayor a larger stipend. The Washington mayor receives $12,000 per year, along with the mayor of Overland. Those with higher salaries include Bellfontaine Neighbors, $20,000 per year, Webb City, $15,000 per year and Lake Saint Louis, $13,923 per year.
“Obviously we are very well paid,” said Mayor Sandy Lucy.
Steve Sullentrup, council member, said he reviewed the information thoroughly.
“When I came on this council it wasn’t about the money, it was about the service to the people,” he said. “After going through it and seeing what other people are getting, I think we ought to be happy with what we’re getting.”
Mark Hidritch said if council members were doing their job for the money, they wouldn’t be doing it, even though they do make good money.
“I think people need to keep in mind that I don’t think anyone here was trying to get a huge raise, I think it just came up for review,” said Jeff Mohesky, councilman. “I think everyone agrees we’re on a good playing field.”
Council members Connie Groff and Walt Meyer expressed opposition to pay raises.
The salaries had been $3,000 for council members and $6,000 for mayor until they were increased in 2005.
In March 1996, council salaries were increased from $2,100 a year to $3,000, while the mayor’s salary increased from $2,700 to $6,000. Prior to that, salaries were last raised in 1987.
There was no cost associated with the salary study.