Maryland

City council passes legislation to increase stipends, despite opposition

SALISBURY, Md. - "We want to hear from the person who is working a nine to five job that does have ideas on how they want to the city to run." 

That's a big reason why Salisbury City Council member R. Hardy Rudasill voted yes to a pay increase for not just city council members but more importantly the mayor. 

As it stands right now, council members receive $10,000 and the mayor, $25,000.

"It's cost prohibitive to even contemplate being mayor knowing that what they'll be compensated is $25,000 a year," says Rudasill. 

Add another $25,000 to the mix, a total of $50,000, could act as an incentive. City council members also receiving a $2,000 raise. 

"We want to hear from the person who has a family and is concerned about the experience that their children has, but that individual is not going to run if what they're being compensated is $25,000 a year because it would have to much of a negative impact on their ability to raise their family," explains Rudasill. 

But Mayor Jake Day is not on board, stating in part, "I understand the council's position and recognize they are interested in what's best for the city, but I remain unwilling to sign or support the legislation." 

But even if Mayor Day vetoes, the council can still override it and according to Mayor Day, that can easily happen with just four votes which they already have. 

That's because four of the council members believe the raise will better compensate for the responsibilities required of a mayor. 

"In order for us to hear a greater diversity of voices, then it has to be feasible that the people running for these offices are being fairly compensated. These aren't volunteer roles and if we want the best service as a city we have to be willing to compensate those individuals that are capable of providing that high quality service," explains Rudasill. 

Mayor Day tells 47 ABC he still has a couple of weeks to decide whether he will veto the legislation or just not sign it. 


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