The Mineral Town Council voted to give itself a raise at its Monday, April 14 meeting. The salary increase will take effect on July 1.
The decision was not made without some debate among council members and confusion about the appropriate protocol to follow.
Dr. William Thomas, who presented the increase recommendation on behalf of the town’s finance committee, advised that approving a raise could be a sensitive issue in light of the upcoming election.
Thomas said that he believes an increase is reasonable because of the amount of work that council members are involved in on behalf of the town’s residents.
“Louisa is making more than we are and we didn’t start until three or four years ago,” Thomas said.
The town of Louisa pays council members $100 per month, and the mayor receives $300 per month, according to Brian Marks, Louisa town manager.
If an increase were to take place for Mineral’s council members, the measure had to be approved at the April meeting, before the town election on Tuesday, May 6.
Salaries for council members can not be higher than $1,200 per year, according to the town’s charter. To change the pay ceiling would take an act by the Virginia General Assembly, according to Jack Maus, town attorney.
In addition, a change in salary can’t take effect while town council members are serving in their current term. Since the election resets the clock, the council needed to make a decision now before a new council is sworn into office on July 1.
To read the entire story, see the April 24 edition of The Central Virginian.