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Bardstown City Council set to approve pay raise for city’s next mayor, council

Councilman Bill Sheckles discusses the pay rate the next council members should receive.

 

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Monday, April 30, 2018 — The Bardstown City Council held first reading of ordinances that will increases the pay that the city’s next mayor and city council members will receive.

Mayor Dick Heaton monitors the council discussion on possible pay rate increases. The council’s special meeting at noon Monday was triggered by the need to approve pay rate changes before the May 7, 2018 deadline to do so.

When the ordinances receive final approval at the Tuesday, May 1, 2018, meeting, the mayor’s pay will go from $1,500 a month to $2,500 a month, or from $18,000 to $30,000 per year.

The council member’s pay is currently $750 a month. Once approved, the new pay rate will be $1,250 a month. The new rate represents an increase from $9,000 to $15,000 a year.

The new pay rates will take effect on Jan. 1, 2019, with the start of the next terms of the new mayor and council.

MORE PAY, BUT HOW MUCH OF AN INCREASE? Councilmen Joe Buckman and John Kelley both looked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as a guide for what the council’s new pay rate should be.

The council was facing a deadline to approve a change in the pay for the mayor or council. According to KRS, an election year is the only time the mayor’s or council’s pay rate can be changed. The deadline for those changes is the first Monday in May — Monday, May 7.

The council’s pay rate has been set at $750 per month for 20 years, and the council had a range of differing thoughts on what the next council’s pay should be, and reasons justifying the proposed increases.

Kelley suggested upping the council’s monthly pay to $1,100. Councilmen Bill Sheckles, Roland Williams and Councilwoman Kecia Copeland suggested setting the monthly rate at $1,350. Councilmen David Dones and Joe Buckman supported setting the rate at $1,000 per month.

After additional discussion, Mayor Dick Heaton suggested the council reach a compromise in order to avoid a tie vote, which he would be required to break. The council members agreed to support setting the monthly pay rate at $1,250.

NEXT UP. The council will meet to finalize the pay rate changes at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, 2018 in the City Hall Annex on Xavier Drive.

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