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Council, mayor forego salaries instead of freezing employee wages PDF Print E-mail

By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican

Imperial’s mayor and four council members will serve with no salaries for at least the next two years in an effort to keep the 2010-11 budget increases at a minimum.
At a special budget work session this Monday, the city’s five elected officials directed City Clerk/Administrator Jo Leyland to strike all of their wages from the budget proposal. The suggestion on foregoing their salaries came from council member Lynn Luhrs, but all were in support of it, said Leyland. Candidates for mayor and council, Dwight Coleman and John Arterburn, were in attendance at the meeting and didn’t express opposition, she said.
State law is silent on cutting salaries of elected city officials, but if they were to be raised, that must be done before an election, Leyland said. So, in effect, it’s likely the salaries won’t be changed for two years. The law allows outgoing city officials to cut their own salaries even if they won’t be serving when it takes effect, she noted.
Council members receive $60 for each meeting they attend. With an average of two per month and some special meetings, each generally receives about $1,500 annually. The mayor has been paid $3,000 per year.
Those pay levels have not changed for a number of years.
At the council’s regular meeting last week, the proposed 2010-11 budget had no increases for several of the department heads. But with this week’s decision on the council’s and mayor’s pay, most employees will now get raises next year.
The council gave between $1,000 and $1,500 increases to the city’s four main department heads—Jo Leyland, Pat Davison, Larry Browning and Leslie Carlholm—rather than freeze their salaries.

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