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Salaries of mayor, aldermen to be cut

by Shana Haines
Landmark reporter

Platte City Board of Aldermen voted themselves a 133% pay raise in March, and Tuesday night voted themselves a pay decrease of approximately 26 percent.

In March, the compensation for aldermen was voted to be $350 per month. A vote was also passed allowing $750 a month compensation for the mayor, an 88 percent pay increase.

Prior to the pay increase, alderman were paid $150 per month. The mayor position was compensated $400 per month plus the $100 monthly health insurance compensation.

The pay increases would not take effect until the alderman's term was renewed. Aldermen who are currently receiving the increase are Jim Palmer, Lee Roy Van Lew and George McClintock, who were elected in April.

Per the motion approved, the latest pay adjustments will take place in 2004, presumably after the April election.

On the agenda during Tueday's meeting was an item amending the mayor's compensation from $750 to $550.

"I can live with that (the decrease). I am the one who asked for this amendment," Brooks said.

Alderman Gary Brown suggested to the board that salary decreases be made for aldermen members also.

Brown made a motion that aldermen should be compensated $259 a month, a $91 difference.

McClintock seconded Brown's motion.

"It will help our budget," Brooks said.

After the meeting, Brown said he thought the pay decrease was a fair amount.

"I think the first go around was high. With this opportunity we could even things out a little better," Brown said.

In March, Alderman Bill Knighton abstained from the vote. Van Lew voted no on the increase.

During general discussion, McClintock suggested that the board begin meeting at 5:30 p.m. instead of the usual 7 p.m.

Several board members agreed with the idea. However, Brown was very opposed to the time change.

"This is supposed to be an open meeting. Most of us work. If you start at 5:30 you are going to eliminate public attendance. We need more public attendance," Brown said.

Brown added that he may have a difficult time getting to 5:30 meetings.

"I have arranged my schedule for 7 o'clock," Brown said.

McClintock used the argument that Platte County Commissioners meet at 2 p.m. and other city committees meet at 5:30 p.m.

"I think everybody needs to consider everybody else," Brown said. "I think it is very inconsiderate. A lot of the board members are retired. I am not, I am a busy person. I have lots of things to do."

With Van Lew and Brown voting against the time change, the issue passed 4-2. The meeting change will take effect Sept. 23.

Also during the meeting, an ordinance was authorized allowing an agreement with Platte County regarding the 3/8 cent sales tax distribution.

The agreement will allow the county to compensate the city for roads and bridge improvement plans.