ashland.news
July 23, 2024

Ashland councilors, mayor to get pay bump, according to early returns

Ashland City Hall. Bob Palermini photo/palermini.com
May 16, 2023

First change in compensation since 1954 comes after health insurance benefits were taken away

By Bert Etling, Ashland.news

A measure to give Ashland city councilors their first pay raise in 70 years is headed for approval, according to early voting results posted Tuesday evening by the Jackson County Elections Office.

As of results posted at 10:45 p.m., Measure 15-215 holds an overwhelming majority of 73 to 27 percent, with 4,609 “yes” votes to 1,744 “no” votes.

The Ashland mayor is currently paid $500 annually and councilors $350 annually as written into the city charter in 1954.

Measure 15-215 changes compensation to $900 each monthly for both the mayor and councilors.

Job duties include hours spent preparing for and participating in City Council meetings, serving a s council liaisons with city committees, commissions and external organizations, representing the city at other public meetings and community events, informing the local media on city issues and other tasks as determined by the council, according to the explanatory statement in the Jackson County Voters’ Pamphlet.

The increase in pay, the statement adds, “is also intended to enable any citizen of Ashland the opportunity to serve on the city Council without experiencing undue financial impact.”

In 2023 dollars, the $350 and $500 per year started in 1954 amount to about $4,000 and $5,600, respectively. The $900 per month amounts to $10,800 per year for the six councilors and mayor, or a total of $75,600.

The increased rate works out to about $10.38 per hour, according to an analysis by former elected city officials included in the voters pamphlet. No argument against the measure was submitted.

That’s still less than the cost of health insurance the city provided for councilors and mayor until Dec. 31, when it was discontinued as authorization of the benefit, which had been in effect for decades, could not be found in city records, which require such compensation be authorized by voters.

Email Ashland.news Executive Editor Bert Etling at betling@ashland.news or call or text him at 541-631-1313.

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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