After researching what mayors and councilmen are paid in nearby cities of similar size and population, Oregon Mayor Marge Brown proposed increasing the compensation for Oregon's elected officials at a recent City Council meeting.
Several councilmen objected to the 25 percent pay increase first proposed - which would increase incrementally over the next three years - but passed a salary increase determined by the finance committee last week by a 5-2 vote, with Councilmen Matt Szollosi and Jeff Keller dissenting.
Mayor Brown said she came to the higher figures she initially proposed after averaging the salaries of mayors and city councilmen in nearby Perrysburg, Maumee, and Sylvania. The Blade also looked at Monroe, Mich. - with a population of 21,630, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates - and their elected officials' salaries.
In 2005, Maumee's mayor will be paid the most, a $27,951 annual salary, but its councilmen will be paid the least, a $6,315 yearly salary.
Monroe's mayor will be paid the least in 2005 - a $15,000 yearly salary. Sylvania's councilmen will be paid the most, with a $8,640 annual salary, until December, when Oregon's raises take effect.
In Oregon - a city of about 19,419 - the mayor will be paid $23,000 a year for all four years of the term beginning in December, once the mayor and councilmen have been elected or re-elected in November. This represents a 28 percent increase from the $18,000 the position represents a 28 percent increase from the $18,000 the position has received since 2002.
Oregon's council president will be paid $10,000 in December, and the six councilmen, $9,000 a year, which is a $1,000 increase from their last pay raise in 2002.
Like Oregon council, Perrysburg City Council decides and votes on the pay increases for the next round of elected officials serving in their positions.
The part-time Perrysburg mayor has been paid about $22,000 annually since 2004, which is a $1,000 increase from what the mayor was paid in 2002 and 2003, said Kelly Louderback, human resources manager.
Councilmen have been paid $6,500 annually since 2004, representing a $500 increase from their last pay hike in 2002. The council president is paid $500 more than the councilmen in the city of roughly 16,840 people.
Unlike Oregon and Perrysburg, Monroe City Council has a compensation commission made up of citizens who are appointed by the mayor to review the salaries and recommend whether they should be increased, Clerk-Treasurer Charles Evans said.
Monroe's part-time mayor has been paid $15,000 since 2002, which is a 25 percent increase from the $12,000 salary the mayor received in 2001.
The councilmen, including the council president, have been paid $7,500 since 2002, which is a 25 percent increase from the $6,000 they were paid in 2001.
Maumee, with a population of 14,705, has the same type of committee Monroe has to determine elected officials' salaries.
Mayor Tim Wagener is paid $27,951 a year, up from $27,135 in 2002. His salary will be frozen until 2009 on his own request.
"I felt gains had been made in the mayor's salary to bring it up to the time involved in the position and the responsibility in the position," he said.
Councilmen will be paid $6,315 this year, up from their 2004 salary of $6,132. Their salary will increase a few percent each year until it reaches $7,107 in 2009. The president of council will be paid $8,748 this year, up from last year's $8,493 annual salary. The position will receive about a 3 percent raise each year until the salary reaches $10,107 in 2009.
"I push very hard for the president of council's position to be substantially higher than a traditional member of council," Mayor Wagener said. "They are the liaison between my administration and the rest of the community."
Rather than charge a group of citizens with deciding salaries, Sylvania officials rely on the annual consumer price index, which translates into a 2 to 3 percent pay increase each year, said George Eichenauer, director of personnel. "The good thing is that everyone gets the same raise," he said, adding that the consumer price index has a 4 percent cap each year.
The part-time mayor in the city with a population of 19,027 will be paid $24,150 this year, and was paid $23,400 in 2004.
Councilmen will be paid $8,640 this year, up from the $8,373 they were paid last year. The president of council makes $1,200 more than councilmen.