Ad Spot

Council waffles on mayor's dough

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
When Councilman Dick Carter left Monday's work session, he was confident the group would address the mayor's salary at the next night's meeting.
He was wrong.
Carter said discussions at the work session led him to believe the council would decide 4-2 to increase the next mayor's salary to $42,000 a year. Raises for the future city council president and city council members were also set to be decided.
At Tuesday night's meeting, however, the motion never made it to a vote.
Carter said he was confused by the apparent about-face.
"I don't know what happened," Carter said. "What changed? I must have went to sleep or something."
The matter of the raises – and the role of Hartselle's next mayor – hasn't been laid to rest, however.
Carter and others said they were supporting a plan to increase the mayor's salary to $42,000 with yearly $1,000 raises. The next mayor would also be allowed to participate in the city's health care insurance but would not receive a municipal car. The mayor would be reimbursed for mileage for his personal vehicle if used for official purposes.
State law prohibits a city from setting the hours a mayor or councilman must work, though several on the city council said they would expect the duties of the next mayor to be expanded because of a change in personnel and procedures.
Councilman Tom Chappell, who said he thought the mayor's salary should be at least $50,000, said the mayor's job needs to be a full-time position.
"(The pay) eliminates a lot of good candidates in this town," Chappell said. "A person can't afford to take this job unless they are retired or semi-retired or has supplemental income and health insurance benefits."
Mayor Clif Knight said the increased salary was justified because of the expanded duties of the next mayor. Knight, who is retired but works as a full-time mayor, earns $12,000 a year and does not receive health care benefits from the city. Knight has not said if he will seek reelection.
The city council terminated the contract of City Administrator Ferrell Vest last month and the mayor will be picking up most of his duties. With benefits and car allowance, Vest earned some $87,375 per year.
Also, because of an increase in the city's population, the mayor will not be a voting member of the next council and will be expected to take on more economic development duties.
The proposal also would have increased council salaries.
The council president, who, because of the shift in the mayor's position will also taking on more duties, would have received $7,500 a year, up from $5,823. Council members currently receive $4,800 a year. That would have been increased to $6,000 a year.
That issue, and not the mayor's salary, was the reason Councilman Frank Jones said he wouldn't support the plan.
"That was the sticking point," he said.

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Sheffield is officer of quarter 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Fourth grade rocks 4-H 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

‘Jesus Revolution’: Priceville couple serve as extras in upcoming faith-based film  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Finding Your Future draws crowd

News

Lacey’s Spring man allegedly entered neighbor’s house, abused sleeping woman

Hartselle

Crestwood Shopping Center sold to Florida investment company

News

Chamber’s State of the County breakfast set for February

Hartselle

Making progress

News

Judge’s choice  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Sheriff gets OK to hire part-time jailers

News

Hartselle Drama Gala returns Saturday

At a Glance

Annual tree giveaway to be held March 1

Eva

Shaddix, Hopkins named Morgan Teachers of the Year  

Morgan County

Fundraising kicks off for 120-foot Morgan cross

Morgan County

Stadthagen named to three legislative committees  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan’s jobless rate among lowest statewide  

Falkville

Looking ahead: Growth on horizon for Hartselle, surrounding area  

Hartselle

American Legion Post 52 hosts annual speech contest 

At a Glance

Falkville man killed in crash

At a Glance

Somerville shooting victim identified

At a Glance

Morgan students graduate from JSU

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle Educator Hall of Fame to induct six  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Flying high: Hartselle senior is dual enrolled in aviation program 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Judge dismisses lawsuit that sought to invalidate hiring of new Hartselle superintendent 

x