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Aurora Aldermen: Raise necessary for mayor’s salary

Updated: November 18, 2012 6:45AM

AURORA — Aldermen decided to hold a special meeting next week to discuss concerns that the salary for the city’s mayoral position is not on par with other major Illinois cities.

City Chief of Staff Carie Anne Ergo said a three-alderman subcommittee comprised of Aldermen Rick Lawrence, 4th Ward; Scheketa Hart-Burns, 7th Ward; and Rick Mervine, 8th Ward; will meet on Tuesday to discuss the mayor’s salary and bring forth recommendations. The exact time has not yet been set.

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce provides the city with aldermanic and mayoral salary recommendations. The Chamber recommended that the city’s next batch of aldermen receive a 2.5 percent annual raise and the Mayor receive a 3 percent annual raise in the next term.

Ergo said that Aurora’s mayor is the lowest paid of mayors of comparable Illinois cities. Weisner’s base salary is $118,000. Joliet’s mayor is paid $198,500, she said.

Mayor Tom Weisner said Batavia, a city of less than 27,000 residents, recently advertised for an assistant city manager position at $125,000 per year. Weisner, who is running for reelection, said that aldermen are now considering the salary for the next mayoral term, to begin in 2013.

“It’s not a foregone conclusion that I’m the guy who’s going to be getting the next salary, either,” Weisner said.

Alderman Lynda Elmore, 10th Ward, said aldermen should discuss the mayoral salary now.

“If we don’t do something with this upcoming term, we’re only going to be further behind,” she said.

Between 2006 and 2012, the mayor received an average of a 1.71 percent raise annually; aldermen received an average of a 3.16 percent raise; and city employees ranged between 2 and 3 percent average annual raises.

Illinois laws stipulate that City Council must vote on the salaries before Nov. 8 — or 180 days before the beginning of the next aldermanic and mayoral terms.

Ergo said that instead of using a city-owned vehicle, the city would like to instead offer a $500 per month car allowance to the person who serves as mayor.

Lawrence, often a critic of Weisner, said some city employees make more than the mayor.

“I’m not advocating for (Mayor) Tom (Weisner) to get a raise, but” the position is underpaid, he said, and the city needs to address that.

“God forbid. You’d ruin your entire image,” Weisner responded.

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