City-County Council drops pay raise proposal

City-County Council drops pay raise proposal. (WISH Photo)
City-County Council drops pay raise proposal. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis City-County Council has dropped a proposal to give themselves a raise. It would have been the council’s first raise in nearly 15 years.

The council was supposed to vote on this proposal Monday night, but dropped it until at least next year. The raise would have bumped the Councillors’ salaries from about $11,000 to $25,000.

In a statement, Council President Maggie Lewis says the council delayed the vote, because the state has yet to approve the city’s 2017 budget.

“For the past several months, Vice President Adamson and Majority Leader Gray and Admin and Finance Committee Chair Simpson have led members of the Council in developing a proposal that will ensure all Councillors are paid equitably for their service.   Our plan was to vote on this proposal tonight [Monday]. We were recently informed that the State’s review of our 2017 budget will not be completed until after the first of the year.  Because of this delay we have been left with no other alternative then to postpone this vote and any new budgetary expenditures until our city budget is approved.”

Some Councillors agree in theory that they need raises, but didn’t agree with this proposal.

Ahead of the meeting, Republican Councillor Jeff Miller said he thinks members need a raise because the current salary is so low, that only people with other jobs or income can run for city-county council. However, Miller said he did not want the money to come from the city’s rainy day fund and would be voting against the proposal.

“As City-County Councillors, we don’t clock out at the end of the day,” said Councillor Joe Simpson in a statement.  “Our work is around the clock and because of this it is my hope that the state will swiftly approve our city budget so that we may move forward with legislation that will serve in the best interest of our residents and those who carry the responsibility of serving in their best interest,” he added.

The Council’s pay was last adjusted in 2002.  The council tried and failed to give themselves a 40 percent raise last year.