KETTERING – Pay hikes of 50% have been approved for future Kettering mayors and city council members a week ahead of a deadline to allow the increases.
The city council voted 5-0 on Tuesday night to increase the mayor’s annual salary from $12,000 to $18,000 and the pay for council members from $8,000 to $12,000.
At-large Councilwoman Jacque Fisher abstained. Fisher, whose term expires Dec. 31, has pulled petitions seeking re-election, Montgomery County Board of Elections records show.
The pay increases “would have to take place after an election” in accordance with the Kettering charter and Fisher is the only council member — including the mayor — eligible to seek another term, City Manager Mark Schwieterman said.
The pay hike is the first change in Kettering legislative compensation since 2012 charter changes approved by voters cut those salaries and limited council’s ability to approve pay increases for those jobs.
Before the charter change, the Kettering mayor’s annual pay was about $23,000 and council members’ about $15,000.
Mayor Don Patterson told the Dayton Daily News the move is designed to compensate Kettering’s elected officials on par with surrounding communities or cities with similar populations.
Patterson, whose term ends in December, said council has “gone back and forth” on the issue in recent years, considering it in 2019.
Changing it now “isn’t going to affect anybody at this point, whereas two years ago if would have affected on the next election cycle,” Patterson said.
Passage of the pay hike comes just days before the deadline to do so this year.
Council can increase those salaries only in “any odd numbered year no later than June first, provided that no increase in compensation shall be effective during the term of office of the mayor or council members in which such vote is taken,” the charter states.
Beavercreek and Huber Heights city councils both approved pay increases for those jobs in 2019, Dayton Daily News records show.
Beavercreek’s annual compensation went from $6,000 to $10,800 for terms starting on or after Jan. 1, 2020. Huber Heights approved a hike equivalent to $12,000 for the mayor and $8,100 for council members. It had been $7,452 and $3,600 for those jobs, respectively.
Beavercreek’s population is 47,741 and Huber’s 38,154, according to U.S. Census data. Kettering has 54,855 residents.
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