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No council pay hikes (again)

By Staff | Jun 28, 2008

One, two, three strikes you’re out. Or in this case, three strikes and no pay increase.

The Blue Earth City Council said no to two possible pay increases for themselves at a special meeting Tuesday night. They had also voted down an $80 per month pay increase at a regular meeting earlier this month.

The proposal on the table Tuesday was for a more modest three percent increase, as had been suggested by Mayor Rob Hammond.

After that proposed increase got a motion and a second, Councilman Dan Brod moved for an amendment to increase it to around six percent for each of the next two years.

“What I am proposing is to make the mayor’s salary $3,000 per year, and the councilmen’s salary $2,700,” Brod said. That would be for 2009, with another six percent increase for 2010, Brod said. Brod’s amendment failed to pass when it wound up with a 3 to 3 tie vote. Councilman Glenn Gaylord was not at the meeting.

After that, the original motion was voted on and that also failed, this time on a 5 to 1 vote. Mayor Hammond cast the only yes vote.

Before the amendment vote, Brod said that he felt that a three percent increase was too low, and he was just rounding it up to $225 per month for councilmen and $250 per month for the mayor.

The council will have one more shot at a pay raise if they want to pursue it, because they have a special meeting on Monday, June 30. Any council raises have to be made by July 1 in order to go into effect the following year. The raises can also only go into effect after a general election year.

City administrator search

There have been 11 applicants so far for the position of city administrator, Mayor Hammond informed the council. Closing date for applications is this Friday.

Hammond proposed a plan to have interim city administrator Bill Bassett look at the applications and pare them down to four to six to interview.

“I think we should have those four to six and their spouses come to Blue Earth on Friday and Saturday, July 18 and 19,” Hammond said. “We will take them out to dinner on Friday night and then interview all of them on Saturday.”

Hammond said he expected that the council could meet later that day and decide which person to offer the position to.

Hammond suggested that members of the EDA board and the city staff could also be in attendance, but not as part of the decision process.

The mayor said he suggested four to six be interviewed because history shows that a couple could withdraw their names before the end of the process.

Council members voiced no disagreement with the plan.