Duties exceed city executives#039; pay

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 28, 2004

Without a doubt our city council and mayor's positions take quite an investment in time and sometimes personal capital to do the job right. When you answer to the public, you have to expect to be available to the public 24-hours a day, seven days a week. It's part of the job description.

We're sure that with many elected positions sometimes the individual is not doing it for the money to begin with. They're doing it because they want to help make their community and their district a better place to live. While we're not nave enough to think this the case with all elected positions, it can be said that generally most council members view their position in this manner. They're certainly not doing it for the money, that's for sure. We would wager that our city council and mayor's positions are probably some of the most underpaid in the state when compared to like cities.

Currently our mayor earns and annual salary of $12,000 and also receives $500 per month to manage the water works system. The position also receives a small monthly amount to serve on the South Alabama Gas Board, of which Greenville is part owner with several other communities in our area.

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The council, on the other hand, earns a paltry $300 per month. The last increase in pay the council received, or better voted in for themselves, was in 1988. That's sixteen years ago. They also do not receive any benefits at all. No medical, no dental, no paid holidays.

That's why we are scratching our heads a bit wondering why the council opted to keep their salaries and those of future council members and the mayor at the inequitable level they're current at. Especially considering county commissioners earn nearly $18,000 per year and school board members earn $600 per month.

We feel that the council erred in judgement.