The elected city council of the city of Springfield are unpaid, and the mayor draws a token salary. Of course, this needs to change:
No Springfield City Council member has drawn a public paycheck for more than half a century, but one current member thinks the topic is due for a discussion.
“What I want to do with it is open up that discussion, is that something we need to consider? We are one of the largest cities in the country that doesn’t have a paid (council).”
At Bieker’s request, tonight’s City Council agenda includes an action item referring the issue to council’s Plans and Policies Committee for review.
The City Charter adopted by voters in 1953 grants the mayor a $200 monthly salary and up to $100 a month for expenses.
The charter specifically forbids a salary for council members, although it does allow them to be “reimbursed for any necessary specific expenses incurred in connection with their duties …”
Of course, they’re going to compare the council and mayor to other cities of the size. Cities whose fiscal house might be in terrible shape, but that’s neither here nor there.
Personally, I prefer a community where the leadership is unpaid and therefore doesn’t feel the need to put in a full forty hours a week in making and enforcing an ever-growing set of constricting laws and ordinances.
But Springfield wants to be a big city, dammit! So it’s ladling out tax incentives to big corporations and developers and everything else.