MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – It is always a potentially politically perilous topic anytime politicians propose raising their own pay.
But Mobile City Councilman Joel Daves said be believes now is the time to do it.
The council next week will take up Daves’ proposal to hike salaries of the mayor and council members.
“The city is in the best position it’s ever been in in its 300-year history,” he told FOX10 News.
Under the proposal, the pay rates would change in November next year – after the city elections. The mayor’s salary would increase from $89,000 to $125,000.
“That’s about the average of what mayors in the five largest cities in Alabama are getting,” he said.
The council member compensation would change as follows:
- The base monthly salary would rise from $1,650 to $2,050.
- The stipend council members receive for attending council sessions would go up from $175 per meeting to $300 per meeting
Daves said the $325 expense account for council members and the $500 supplement paid to the council president would not change.
That means that a council member who attends 48 meetings a year would get a 38 percent pay bump – from $19,800 to $24,600 a year. But Daves noted that the salaries have remained unchanged since 1997.
“It’s been 24 years, and the city is in excellent financial shape,” he said.
Daves said since the last pay raise for elected officials, the city budget has nearly doubled. And while some local governments have had to make cuts during the COVID-19 pandemic, he pointed out that city workers will get a 2.5 percent pay raise in the coming year.
As to whether his proposal has sufficient support, Daves declined to make a prediction.
“You never know until the votes are counted,” he said.
The matter is on the council’s Tuesday agenda. The earlies council members could vote would be the following Tuesday.