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Waste Watch: Proposed 30% Raises for Elected Officials Raises Questions
Updated: Tuesday, October 29 2013, 12:52 AM EDT
LAWRENCEBURG, Ohio (Angenette Levy) -- Proposed 30% raises for the Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer in Lawrenceburg raised the ire of two city council members who feel the city is spending too much money.
According to a document released by councilman Mike Lawrence, Mayor Dennis Carr's salary would have increased from $47,600 to $61,600. Clerk-Treasurer Jackie Stutz's salary would have increased to $64,999 from $49,670.
"We're going to be broke in a matter of years," said council member Jane Pope when arguing against the raises.
Stutz defended the increases. "I just put in money. I didn't put in a percentage or anything. We've never put in percentages before for elected officials. I just put a number out there," Stutz said. She added. "There are office help and foremen that make more money than I do and they all get overtime and they don't do near as much work as I do. That's why I put in for more money."
Sometime before the meeting the amount of the raises changed on the ordinance from 30% to 3.2%.
Jane Pope: "Why was it changed? Because we put the heat or what?"
Mayor Dennis Carr: “No, it was a typo.”
Mike Lawrence: “A typo?"
Local 12 News tried to get a more detailed explanation from Mayor Carr during a recess but he ignored Angenette Levy when she approached him.
Clerk-Treasurer Stutz said Mayor Carr instructed her to change the amount of the raises.
Council member Mike Lawrence didn't believe the Mayor's explanation.
"It was not a typo. She just, like she said, pulled a figure and stuck it on there. I don't agree you pull 30% figures and put in there for pay raises."
Lawrence said elected officials should not receive raises.
Last summer, the council approved 40% raises for the police chief and assistant chief. At the time, one city council member said they deserved the raises because they had been underpaid.
Council approved the raises and a $50 million budget for 2014 by a vote of 3-2. Council members Jane Pope and Mike Lawrence said they’re concerned the city is spending too much money since casino revenue is down.
A consultant working for the city said at the meeting that the city’s cash position is relatively flat and the city isn’t spending all of its money.
As of September 2013, the city had $132 million in the bank.