Archive for Thursday, June 30, 2005

Mayor in line for pay raise in 2006

June 30, 2005, 12:00 a.m.

Updated: June 30, 2005, 12:10 p.m.

Lansing Mayor Kenneth Bernard is in line - begrudgingly - for a pay raise in 2006.

During a study session Thursday, June 23, Lansing City Council members signaled their intent to increase the mayor's monthly stipend from its current $241 to $500. The increase would become effective in January 2006.

"I think that given the responsibilities, growth and issues that the mayor deals with, we need to raise the monthly stipend," Council member Robert Ulin said during a study session Thursday, June 23, at City Hall. "I'm happy with what we make as a council, but I don't think that we're compensating our mayor nearly enough for what he does."

A survey of area cities completed by City Administrator Mike Smith showed monthly stipends for their mayors ranged from a low of incurred expenses only in Tonganoxie to $900 plus expenses in Merriam.

When council members began discussing how much Bernard's compensation should be, Council President Kenneth Ketchum voiced his opinion that it should $500 a month.

"That's probably a dollar an hour for his monthly work," Ketchum said.

Bernard bristled at the suggestion. "I think that's too much," he said of the 107 percent pay increase.

But in this instance, council members appear to have the mayor out-voted. All eight of them indicated they were in favor of raising the mayor's stipend to the $500-a-month level.

Smith said he would incorporate the increase into the 2006 city budget, which will be brought before the council for its approval later this summer.

In addition to providing the increased pay, the move will make Bernard - and all future mayors - eligible to participate in the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System.

Council members themselves won't be seeing as large an increase in their stipends. They indicated they would be satisfied with the cost-of-living increase all city workers were in line to receive. Council members currently receive a monthly stipend of $109.

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