The Meridian mayor and city council members won’t take a pay raise over the next two years, even though a compensation committee recommended 3 percent raises for each position.

“None of us got into this for the money,” Councilman Luke Cavener said. “We as a council are always sticklers for the budget, and we look at every dollar as important.”

Not taking a raise won’t have a huge monetary impact on the city, he said, but it will show taxpayers the council’s commitment to spend each dollar carefully.

The pay increased for the mayor in 2016 and in 2017. Mayor Tammy de Weerd makes $90,956 a year.

The mayor’s position is a public service position, Councilman Ty Palmer said, and the current pay is more than enough to sustain a family in Meridian.

The City Council president’s pay last increased in 2016 to $11,000 a year. The other City Council members have made $10,000 a year since 2015.

Council meets four times a month and performs other duties with city departments and community events.

“If I do the math right, I make about $0.85 to $1 an hour,” Cavener said. “It doesn’t cover the gas for me to get to and from meetings.”

But he reiterated that he doesn’t think the position needs a raise at this time, and he thinks the current pay is enough to attract quality candidates.

“Our council is stellar and is well-representative of our community,” he said.

Elected officials’ benefits will also stay the same.

Per city code, a compensation committee reviews elected officials’ salary and benefits every municipal election year.

This year, the committee recommended that the mayor and city council take 3 percent raises each year for the next two years. It based that in part on the size of the city, the workload and complexity of tasks, and the number of employees who work under the mayor, according to committee member Gretchen Caserotti, who is also the head of the Meridian Library District.

The committee also took into account a recent city survey of 743 randomly selected Meridian residents. Of those who answered, 92 percent rated Meridian as an excellent place to live, and 72 percent said they are getting their money’s worth for the value they receive from city tax dollars and fees.

Had the raises been approved, in 2019 the mayor would make almost $96,500, council president would make $11,700, and council members would make $10,609.

Five council members, with Genesis Milam being absent, voted to keep council members’ salaries the same. Four voted to keep the mayor’s salary the same, with President Keith Bird saying he supports a pay boost for the mayor.

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