Greenfield - The common council voted 3-1 for a 2-percent pay increase for the mayor at its Dec. 20 meeting. Mayor Michael Neitzke used the occasion to revisit the somewhat tangled, part-time status of his office.
"This is not the typical mayor position you find in other cities," Neitzke said, pointing out that the city does not have a full-time administrator.
Residents voted against making the mayor's position a full-time job in three referendums, with the most recent being 20 years ago. Residents also rejected the idea of a full-time administrator in 1992 and 1996.
Neitzke said virtually every municipality in Milwaukee County has a full-time administrator, while the cities of Milwaukee, Cudahy and West Allis have full-time mayors.
"This is a $20-30 million corporation we run," Neitzke said. The mayor's salary goes to $88,687 after next April's election. Neitzke wondered how many candidates may pursue the position in future years due to the workload a part-time mayor must handle.
In the future, "you may have trouble attracting qualified candidates," he warned. "I think you want to assume a pool of qualified candidates. Good intentions aren't enough."
A 4-percent raise had been proposed, but Alderman Linda Lubotsky offered a successful amendment trimming the mayor's pay hike to 2 percent, saying the lower figure would be consistent with the raises city employees will receive.
Ald. Bruce Bailey voted no, saying "I just feel a raise is not in order now."
Council members' salaries remain at $6,300 per year, but they didn't leave empty-handed. Their "technology expense allowance" to cover the costs of internet and/or cellphone service was doubled. It will now be a maximum of $2,000 annually. Council members will continue to receive $2,00 annual auto allowances and expense accounts of $1,800 per year.