Aldermen will get 133%
Platte City's Board of Aldermen voted in a 133% pay increase
for aldermen and an 88% pay increase for the mayor's position
at a meeting Tuesday night.
Aldermen first suggested the pay increase at a meeting
in February. They finalized the deal Tuesday night by
voting in a pay raise that will give aldermen a compensation
of $350 per month and the mayor $750 per month. The mayor
also gets a $100 per month health insurance compensation.
Currently, aldermen are paid $150 per month. The mayor
currently gets $400 per month plus the $100 monthly health
According to the state constitution, an increase in salary
for an elected official cannot go into effect during the
official's current term. So each city official will have
to wait until the start of the next term to receive the
Aldermen who will be affected soon by the pay increase
are Jim Palmer and Lee Roy Van Lew. Also, whoever is elected
to fill the seat being vacated by alderman Shelle Browning
would benefit from the raise.
During a March 11 meeting, aldermen were quite vocal
about the raise, stating they deserved it for the hard
work and dedication they do for the city. Aldermen even
said they spend personal time dealing with city matters
on weekends and occasionally discuss city matters at restaurants.
"I have done some research. It appears to be that
it has been 17 years since the board of alderman or mayor
have gotten an increase in compensation for the work they
have done," Alderman Lee Roy Van Lew said.
Van Lew had suggested the aldermen and mayor positions
take what would amount to a four percent per year pay
increase since the time of the last raise for aldermen,
which came in the mid-1980s. Van Lew's idea would have
meant a salary of $300 a month for aldermen and $550 for
the mayor. His proposal would amount to a 100% raise for
When it came time to vote on the motion to approve the
proposed 130% pay increase, Van Lew voted no.
Van Lew said he voted against the hike because he thought
it was too high.
"They put it up too high," Van Lew said.
Alderman Bill Knighton, who made no comments about the
raise during the March 11 meeting, abstained from voting
In a phone conversation Wednesday morning, Knighton said
he abstained from voting because he felt the amount requested
"I didn't feel 100% about the amount being requested.
It is my personal feeling to do that (abstain),"
Knighton said Wednesday morning.
Prior to abstaining Knighton named results from a survey
he conducted of what neighboring towns pay their aldermen
and mayor. Knighton said Parkville pays its aldermen $300
per month, Smithville $150 per month, and Kearney $110
According to Palmer, his constituents are in favor of
the pay increase.
"Everyone that has called me has been in favor of
us getting a raise. Everyone knows we do a heck of a lot
of work," Palmer said.
One person in the audience spoke against the pay hike.
Former alderman Pat Wolf read a prepared statement explaining
why she was against the pay increases.
"How many gallons of gas does it take to get from
one side of the city to the other?" Wolf questioned.
Wolf also said that the salary should not be the reason
city officials run for office.
Mayor Dave Brooks became very vocal about the increase.
"I know how much you (aldermen) do. We all know
that in the past there was an awful lot less to do than
there is now," Brooks said.
Brooks said he and aldermen work very hard at running
the city. Brooks added elected officials sometimes use
their own vehicles, cell phones and spend a lot of time
each month dedicated to the city.
"I am not honking my own horn. I personally know
how much I am over there (city hall)," Brooks said.