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Batavia may trim pay for aldermen

Updated: November 11, 2012 6:09AM

BATAVIA — Although performance reviews will be left to voters, Batavia aldermen are leaning toward reducing their pay for attendance at City Council meetings by 10 percent and keeping the mayor’s salary the same.

Aldermen voted 5-0 at this week’s Government Services Committee to reduce the $200 per City Council meeting salary which translates into $4,800 per aldermen each year.

They also voted to increase the city clerk’s salary of $6,065 by 5 percent and to keep the salary of the office of mayor the same. The mayoral position, per city ordinance, pays $26.05 per hour and not to exceed $2,605 per month.

Municipal code requires a compensation review of elected officials prior to the next four-year term goes into effect, to avoid pay decisions being made during an elected official’s current term in office.

Any potential changes would be effective May 1, 2013, for seven of the 14 aldermen whose seats are open in the April 9 municipal election. The next review would occur prior to the next municipal election in 2015.

“It is a sign we are taking the poor economy and the struggles of the taxpayers seriously,” Alderman Jim Volk said. “We don’t do this for the money.”

Volk suggested the city clerk’s compensation be increased 5 percent because the position is “vastly” underpaid for the amount of work involved. He said he would argue the city consider the office of city clerk be a full-time appointed position.

Aldermen are not compensated for attendance at committee meetings or other city-related functions. A comparison report issued to the committee showed Geneva and St. Charles aldermen are compensated $150 and $175, respectively, for each City Council meeting.

Mayor Jeff Schielke said last year he spent 242 nights either at meetings or other city-related functions and many of the aldermen were present at those.

“Anybody who runs for office needs to realize they will be asked to do more than what has traditionally been the case — this is a real heavy duty time,” the mayor said.

Schielke said he has not made a decision on the 2013 mayoral election, but that “freezing the mayor’s salary is probably an OK thing to do.”

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