Council OKs mayor salary increase to $24K
by JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Aug 31, 2014 | 1014 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cleveland City mayor will make $24,000 in 2016.

The amount is twice the current salary of $12,000 the mayor is receiving now.

This increase was passed in a Cleveland City Council meeting Friday, which was a continuation of the Monday meeting.

The motion passed 4 to 3 with councilmen Charlie McKenzie, Vice Mayor Avery Johnson, David May and George Poe voting in favor of the motion.

Dale Hughes, Richard Banks and Bill Estes voted against the motion.

At a previous meeting, increasing the salary to $40,000 had been passed on first reading. Because increasing the salary requires an ordinance change, a second vote was required before the change could take place. Friday’s vote to increase the salary to $40,000 failed. Hughes, Banks and Poe voted in favor of the motion.

McKenzie, Estes, Johnson and May voted against the motion. The Council later voted to retract this vote so another ordinance change to increase the salary could be considered.

The vote to increase the mayoral salary to $24,000 counts as the required second vote on the ordinance change.

“You can amend the ordinance between first and second reading as long as you stay within its scope,” city attorney John Kimball said.

Kimball said simply changing the amount was considered to be “in the scope” of the original motion.

May said he had received a lot of calls on this issue.

“Most the calls I got didn’t have a problem with $24,000. They had a problem with creating an amount that would have someone just running for a job that may not have … the importance of community at heart,” May said.

“You cannot always elect qualifications,” Johnson said.

Banks said City Mayor Tom Rowland goes “above and beyond the call of duty.”

In 2016, Rowland will have two years left of his term. Rowland has already said publically he does not plan on seeking re-election.

“Unless we set a compensation rate like other cities to seek out someone who may need the compensation but then be inspired to follow Mayor Rowland’s footsteps, then Cleveland will suffer. The Council will suffer,” Banks said.

- Also during the meeting, approval allowing a county resident to tie into city sewer for health reasons was given.

Casteel said the land was not in a place where it would benefit the city to annex.

“Even though it is commercial, we feel like to require them to give us a letter requesting annexation at some future time would not be warranted because it is so far out,” Casteel said.

While the city ordinance does require county residents wanting wastewater services to request annexation, it also lists an exemption for health reasons.

May was the lone vote against the motion.

“If we give all the services to the county that the city tax payers paid for, I think we are sending the wrong message,” May said.

City development and engineering director Jonathan Jobe said the sewer line already ran through the property. The line had been installed prior to the ordinance requiring annexation for services.

Jobe said the line had been funded with a grant to provide sewer service to some apartments that had been in the area.

Upgrading a walking trail at Rolling Hills subdivision was also discussed, but no action was taken.

Casteel said residents had thought the city promised to replace the aging asphalt with concrete for the length of the trail.

Public Works director Tommy Myers said his intent was to use concrete to replace the parts damaged in the creation of the wetlands. The wetlands were required as part of mitigation plans connected to the Cleveland Regional Jetport construction.

Casteel said she was researching whether the cost to pave the trail could be covered by grants applied for as part of jetport funding.

The Council also approved Steve Wright to serve on the Airport Authority when Lynn DeVault’s term ends.