Washington council considers approving future pay raise

WASHINGTON — After remaining unchanged since 2003, the Washington City Council plans to increase compensation for the mayor and council members.

The ordinance change is currently working its way through the three readings and, if passed, would take effect January 1, 2022, following the next municipal election in November 2021.

Currently council members are paid $50 for each meeting, and the mayor is paid $12,000 annually.

Mayor Jaron Rosien said it seemed appropriate to do now consider raises since it has been 17 years since the last adjustment.

Rosien recommended the change to be $75 for meetings and $40 for outside meetings. For the mayor he recommended $18,000.

“I think that would help get talent and retain talent in the future,” Rosien said.

City Administrator Brent Hinson said the outside meetings pay would be for official meetings when the individuals are there as a council member. He said it is an additional demand for the position, and they deserve to be paid for the work.

Council member Brendan DeLong said he doesn’t believe anyone on the council is there for the pay. He said they are there because they care for the city.

“We’re not voting on giving ourselves raises, we’re voting on giving the next council raises,” DeLong said.

Council member Danielle Pettit-Majewski agreed, saying they want the positions to be attractive for people who want to help but don’t have much flexibility monetarily.

The ordinance has passed the first and second reading. The third reading will take place at the next City Council meeting on Nov. 3.