Council: No pay raise for the mayor

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 19, 2008


A failed attempt to increase the mayor&8217;s salary led to an attempt to cut city council members&8217; salaries, and council members don&8217;t know which way it&8217;s going.

Councilman Johnnie Leashore wanted to have the council salaries cut. The measure that would offer the next council an annual salary of $5,000 per year could be approved as early as Feb. 11.

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Evans said he was not in favor of any pay increases.

Leashore declined to comment Saturday on his intentions. However, the move came after Leashore argued for a 20 percent pay increase for the mayor&8217;s $70,000 salary, saying the city&8217;s leader deserves it.

The increase would have made the next mayor&8217;s salary $84,000 a year. The council split 4-4 on the measure. Randolph, Leashore, Jannie Venter and Bennie Ruth Crenshaw voted to increase the mayor&8217;s pay. Reid Cain, Cecil Williamson and Dr. Geraldine Allen voted to keep the salary the same. Jean Martin abstained.

After losing the mayor&8217;s pay raise, Leashore proposed that the council cut its own salary from the $15,000 a year by two thirds, which would make the salary $5,000 per year.

Council members Martin, Venter, Randolph and Crenshaw voted not to cut the salaries.

A former councilman attending the meeting, Lorenzo Harrison, was among the first African Americans elected to the Selma City Council. He said he&8217;d never seen such a thing.

Council members currently receive $1,250 a month. State law requires the salaries are set six months prior to municipal elections, which prevent elected officials from setting their own salaries.