COVID 19: Rochester City Council Asked to Rescind Pay Raises
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - One of the two members of the Rochester City Council who voted against the pay raises for the City Council and Mayor in January is now calling on the elected officials to rescind the pay hikes as part of the city's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
While the city considers steps that should be taken to cut costs, 5th Ward Councilmember Shaun Palmer has suggested, "the very first thing we should do as a city government is go back to our original salaries." In a letter to the other City Councilmembers and city officials, Palmer went on to say that "it is at the least tone-deaf, and at most insulting, to tell taxpayers they should continue to pay for our raises while they are struggling with cutbacks and unemployment."
The pay raises boosted the pay for the City Council President to $47,000 per year, while the six other Councilmembers are now paid just over $39,000 and the Mayor's salary jumped to over $67,000.
City Administrator Steve Rymer is expected to present the City Council with some recommendations for reducing spending at the council's meeting on Monday. Reports indicate pay cuts for the elected officials and other city employees are among the options being considered to address what is expected to be a significant reduction in the city's revenues due to the pandemic.