By Brandi Makuski
Future Council members will be getting a boost in pay.
The City Council on Monday approved an annual increase in aldermanic salary by $500, with Councilwoman Denise Mrozek alone voting against the measure. The raise doesn’t take effect until April of 2016.
Mayor Mike Wiza said Council members can’t legally vote themselves a raise, and told the alders none of them would see the raise unless they were reelected in the future.
“This will not take effect on anyone’s current term,” Wiza said.
There was no discussion by Council members on the topic, though some members of the public addressed the city in support of the move.
“You guys deserve even more of a raise than this,” said Barb Jacob, a local bar owner and former mayoral candidate. “You guys do a lot for this city.”
Roger Trzebiatowski, former alderman for the city’s seventh district, agreed with Jacob, saying the aldermanic position is one of the few which has gone without a pay increase for the past decade.
“A year or two prior to my joining the Council, that’s the last time the Council saw any kind of aldermanic adjustment,” Trzebiatowski said. “It’s been debated many times. But in that time there have also been numerous discussions about management and supervisory increases that were approved; there have also been increases in the mayoral salary, the premise being we want to elicit higher quality candidates.”
Trzebiatowski was elected to the Council in 2005 and served until his retirement in April, 2015.
“Since 2005, a lot of costs went up dramatically,” he said. “A lot of you, I’m sure, are doing a lot of printing at home on your computers, using your own equipment, using your own phone, you’re driving around in your cars- I hope you are, if you’re doing your job- and you might be taking pictures. That’s all money you’re spending and you might be spending more than you’re being compensated right now.”
Current alders earn $4,800 annually, with an additional $100 for Council President as that position carries extra duties. Under the change, Council members would earn $5,300, and the Council President would receive $5,500 each year.