Mayor Tommy Battle Vetoes Council Approved Pay Raises
September 13, 2019
Mayor Tommy Battle released the following statement with regard to his decision to veto the Mayor and Council pay raise approved by City Council at their Sept. 12 meeting.
“I hereby Veto Ordinance no. 19-769 pertaining to the annual salary for Mayor and City Council.
As stated, while I deeply appreciate the intent of Council, I have said I am satisfied with my salary and knew what it was when I went into public service. My focus remains on our 2,100 employees and the job I was elected to do as Mayor.
The Council and I also have a philosophical difference on the job of City Council and how they should be compensated. I previously had the honor of serving as a Council Member. A Council Member should strive to be involved in the community, to bring constituent ideas to City Hall and provide an additional voice to the needs of their districts. I respect that Council Members deserve remuneration to offset hours away from their full-time jobs. This increase changes the intent of the position of citizen/lawmaker. Paying a City Council Member $44,000 to $49,000 a year is more than a City firefighter’s or a school teacher’s annual salary.
Again, this is a difference in ideas and beliefs. I think increasing Council salaries will make the role become more of an employee position than one as representative of the people.”