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Council OKs pay increase

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By Jacquelyn Stoess Hack

Members of La Grange City Council passed resolutions to boost their paychecks Monday night.Council members earn $400 per month, and will receive $100 more per month beginning Jan. 1, 2009 – the day a new term begins.The increase reflects a cost-of-living adjustment, city attorney Wade Helm said.Mayor Elsie Carter said council members’ service to the council entails more than one meeting per month.Council member Wally Nay said he attends about eight meetings per month. Other council members attend about six meetings per month, Carter said.“I think that it’s necessary to keep up with the timesee” Carter said. Magistrates make about three times as much as council members, she said, and work just as hard.No speakers approached the microphone during a public hearing for the resolution.Council member Jason Taylor, who could not attend Monday’s meeting due to an out-of-town work obligation, said he did not seek a position on the council for monetary reasons.In an e-mail to The Oldham Era, Taylor wrote, “I did not run for council, nor do I serve on council, for any financial gain. I want to serve the city, and you will note that I have been the council member who is the biggest opponent of wasteful spending.”Council member Faith Brush, who offered a motion to approve the resolution, said the raise is intended for future service on the council.“It starts Jan. 1, 2009, we may not even be here. This is not just for us,” Brush said.Council member Joe Davenport said the increase offsets council members’ fuel expenses and compensates for time spent at training sessions in Lexington and Elizabethtown.“We don’t just come up here and sit once a month,” Davenport said.A resolution to increase council members’ pay passed 4-2, with council members Jean Knight and Tad Humble opposed.Knight said she wants to know where the city has money to fund a pay increase.“For us to get a raise, doesn’t the money have to come from something else?” she said.Later, council members voted 6-0 in support of a $40-per-month pay increase for the mayor beginning July 1. The mayor’s current salary is $1,000 per month.E-mail us about this story at:

jstoess@oldhamera.com