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Heated exchange at meeting
Mon November 11, 2013
Rhinelander Council Ok's Mayor Meeting Pay
The Rhinelander city council last night fixed a loophole regarding the mayor's pay. It got a little heated.
The mayor gets a thousand dollars a month, plus paid for committee meetings. But a loophole in the pay regimen found the mayor runs the city council meetings, but doesn't get paid for them.
Three of eight councilmembers voted not to allow the extra pay including Alex Young, saying other employees have been asked to sacrifice...
"....the last few years when we've been making cuts to different departments...they took a wage cut when we asked them to pay more for their retirements..."
Since the mayor is paid a salary, until now running the council meeting was part of the job. But councilmember Mark Pelletier says the mayor also takes much of the heat from the public and while the council was getting paid for the meetings, so should the mayor.
A bit irritated, Mayor Dick Johns said he wasn't there for the money, but it was the right thing to do...
"....50 years, I wouldn't be sitting in this chair, I'll tell you that. I've never done that. It's not my consideration, it's for the position of mayor in the city. Do what you want to do, I don't care..."
Johns has been either on the city council or mayor since the early 1960's. The meeting pay is $85 a month. The council voted 5-3 to pay the mayor for the council meetings. The increase will not take effect by law until after the April elections.