42% Council Compensation Increase – Back Again…

Per the release of the public agenda for Tuesday’s Council meeting,  there is yet another motion being presented by Councillor Gallo to ask that Council – once again – consider granting Councillors what amounts to a 42% increase in total Council compensation.

As residents recall, in October 2023, on a 4-3 vote, Councillors Gilliland, Gallo, Gaertner, and Weese voted first at General Committee and then at Council, in support of an immediate additional and substantial increase in Councillor Compensation including  a significant hike in salary and the addition of up to 12 months of severance.  This despite the fact that Council members as a whole are already receiving an 11% cost of living (COLA) increase in compensation, over the course of this term with an increase of $4300 in compensation by the end of term.

From the communications I received prior to and immediately following the previous two votes on the matter, residents expressed their overwhelming opposition to the proposed immediate increase to Council Compensation.  And their views aligned with mine. Consequently, I did not include this additional and unwarranted expenditure of taxpayer money in the Town’s Budget.

The fact that this matter is resurfacing for a third time is not only disappointing but also deeply concerning.

As someone who is dedicated to serving the best interests of our constituents, as I said the first time and the second time and now the third time, I cannot support any additional increase in council compensation.

As I said previously,  “when so many in our community are struggling to make ends meet, I do not believe an immediate and, in my opinion, frankly staggering increase in Council compensation is in the best interest of the community.

I urge my fellow colleagues to prioritize addressing issues of immediate concern for our residents and the community we serve.

It is crucial that we, as a Council,  focus on ensuring that every taxpayer dollar is used effectively and efficiently as we work to find sustainable solutions to the pressing issues facing our community.

I remain steadfast in my commitment to advocating for responsible stewardship of public funds and will continue to oppose any measures that I feel are not in the best interests of the community we serve.

And in my opinion, an immediate 42% increase in total Council compensation does not serve the public’s or taxpayer’s best interest.

 

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