By Charles Sercombe
The city council wants to triple their yearly salary, as well as double that of the mayor.
At last week’s council meeting, the council approved a resolution to have voters change the city charter to allow the increase.
City council members are currently paid $3,249 each year, but the proposed increase would raise their pay to $9,749.
That would come out to a total of $32,500 more for five of the councilmembers.
For the sixth councilmember, who is the mayor pro tem, the increase would go from $4,874 to $11,374 a year. That’s an increase of $6,500.
And for the mayor, the current yearly salary of $6,499 would go up to $12,998, which is also a $6,500 increase for the year.
The total increase for the council and mayor is $45,500 for the year.
The yearly salaries are based on a percentage of the governor’s salary. For council, it’s currently 2 percent, for the mayor pro tem it’s 3 percent and the mayor’s is 4 percent.
The change, if approved would change that to 6, 7, and 8 percent respectively.
Councilmember Mohammed Hassan, who is mayor pro tem, proposed the change, and justified the increase because the cost of living has increased.
“It’s not only money, it’s time and respect,” Hassan said.
He added that the current compensation has prevented residents with “talent” from running for office.
Hassan also noted that the Detroit City Council just increased their salaries, although their positions are full-time, and include benefits and staff.
Councilmember Amanda Jaczkowski, who is in her first term, said it’s also a matter of the amount of time each member puts into the job, including time spent outside of actual meetings, such as doing research or preparing for committee meetings.
City Manager Max Garbarino said the increase “won’t make or break us” financially.
This isn’t the first time the council considered a pay raise for itself. Councilmember Nayeem Choudhury earlier proposed an increase, but he quickly backed off his resolution after public backlash.
The salary proposal will be on the August Primary Election ballot. The council will also be asking voters to approve two other city charter changes.
Posted Feb. 24, 2023