SNELLVILLE – The city council is currently weighing a proposal that would raise the salaries of the mayor and councilmembers for the first time in since 1983.
Under the proposed ordinance, the mayor’s salary would increase from $6,000 to $12,000 and councilmembers’ salaries would rise from $4,000 to $8,000. The mayor pro-tempore would receive $10,000.
The increase in salary, proposed by Councilwoman Cristy Lenski, will not go into effect until after the next election in November of 2019, as mandated by state law – meaning current councilmembers salaries will not increase unless they are re-elected.
“The population of Snellville in 1983 was approximately 9,000,” Lenski said. “Since then, our population has more than doubled, and the duties and the responsibilities of mayor and council have increased as well. Our compensation should reflect this.”
Lenski said an increase in salary will attract better-qualified candidates in future elections.
“In the most recent 2017 election cycle, Posts 3, 4 and 5 were uncontested and the election was cancelled. So yes, (Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Bender, Councilwoman Gretchen Schulz) and myself were very strong candidates and so we were unopposed. However, I’m concerned this might become the norm. Competition breeds new ideas, and we need to think seriously about how we can attract young, bright and inspired servant leaders to Snellville. And salaries are an important factor.”
The new salaries were determined after city officials conducted a review of the salaries of the mayors and councilmembers of other similarly sized municipalities.
Residents can voice their opinion on the proposal by contacting councilmembers or city staff or by speaking at the Aug. 13 council meeting when the measure will be up for approval after its second reading.
“During the next few weeks, please contact us and let us know your questions, thoughts and concerns,” Lenski said. “And I hope you will join me in supporting this measure.”