Tri States Public Radio Staff
Tue September 8, 2009
Keokuk Council To Get Higher Salary
Keokuk, IA – Members of the Keokuk City Council are in line for a pay hike. Aldermen have approved the first reading of a measure that would double their salaries.
Finance Sub-Committee Chairman Doug Matlick recommended the increase from $100/month to $200/month. He says that figure would put Keokuk's city council members in line with their counterparts in similar communities: Fairfield, Oskaloosa, and Ottumwa.
Closer to home, members of the Fort Madison City Council receive $250/month while Burlington aldermen receive $500/month. Several Keokuk City Council members felt their salaries should be equal to Fort Madison.
Matlick says he simply used the average salaries for Keokuk, Fairfield, Oskaloosa, Ottumwa, Fort Madison, and Mount Pleasant to come up with his figure. He says he also wanted to avoid a more than 100% salary hike.
City staff says it has been at least 15 years since members of the Keokuk City Council received an increase in pay. The additional cost to the city, each year, would be $11,000.
The measure must be approved two more times. It would take effect January 1.
Meanwhile, the Keokuk City Council could look to reduce its own numbers in the future. Matlick says the city should consider dropping from 7 to 5 wards. That would cut the 9-member panel to 7.
Matlick says most cities the size of Keokuk do not have 9-member city councils. He says the move could save the city money on elections and member salaries.
Matlick says the issue should be further explored so the council could act after the 2010 census.