Knox City Council Votes Against a Raise for Council Members

Knox City Council #2
Back Row: Mayor Rick Chambers, Ed Blue, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston, Greg Matt and Attorney David Matsey. Front Row: Linda Berndt, Jeff Berg and Ron Parker

In a surprise move, the Knox City Council voted against giving themselves a raise in 2012. Councilwoman Linda Berndt said, “We’re not in this for the money, and I think we have to draw the line somewhere!”

Berndt went on to say that the hours devoted to the job and the sleepless nights she agonized over votes would never be enough if salary was the sole consideration. The council members make $3,500.00 a year for serving on the board. The raise would have added $70.00 a year to their salary.

Clerk-Treasurer, Jeff Houston, reminded the council members of a new law.

“Next year, our payroll tax will go back up another 2%,” he said. “Right now, the City pays what we have been paying for our Social Security tax, but because of the stimulus package and the law, that’s going to go back up 2%. So really you’re not going to see anything more if the law stays the same. If the law stays like it is now, you won’t really see a raise.”

The raise would have been given in an ordinance to raise all elected officials salaries by 2%.

Berndt’s motion passed on a 3-1-1 vote when the ordinance was amended to eliminate the council members from the raise, leaving in the measure only elected officials.

Voting for were Berndt, Ron Parker, and Ed Blue. Voting against was Jeff Berg. Greg Matt abstained. The salary ordinance will have to be passed on second and third reading.