Veto overridden; pay raises coming for mayor, council

The Salisbury City Council, by unanimous vote this week, overrode Mayor Jake Day’s veto of a pay raise for the mayor’s post and council seats.

A few days after an ordinance to increase salaries was passed approved, Day vetoed it.

The ordinance will double the mayor’s salary from $25,000 to $50,000 annually. Day said this week he will not accept the increase if re-elected, but will donate it to a charity.

City Council members after the next election will also receive pay hikes, from $12,000 to $15,000 per year for the Council President and from $10,000 to $12,000 for members.

“I am pleased, obviously,” Council President Jack Heath said after the meeting on Monday. “This will give us a larger pool for qualified candidates for mayor. I understand the mayor’s position, but the raise is for the future, not just Jake.”

“My position is relative to the fact that the mayor’s pay should be commensurate with the mayor’s responsibility. That hasn’t changed.  By leaving it at $25,000, it limits the pool of potential people for the position.

“You have to look at the position, not just the person,” Heath said.

During past meetings, Heath has opposed $50,000, calling it too low.

Councilman Jim Ireton, who has consistently opposed a salary increase of more than $37,500 for the mayor, surprised some by voting in favor Monday.

The pay raise had been discussed and debated by City Council members for several weeks.

It will take effect after the next mayor and City Council are in office. The city election is in 2019.


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