The bill would double the salary of city aldermen from $37,400 to $72,000 a year.
ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Friday passed a bill to nearly double the salary of the next batch of aldermen. The bill now goes to Mayor Tishaura Jones’ office.
Council Bill 119 passed 15-8 at third reading at the regular council meeting, with one vote abstaining. He is asking to double the salary for the position of part-time municipal alderman from $37,400 to $72,000 per year.
The bill also grants an $800 increase to each alderman’s expense allowance, bringing it to $5,000 per member. The bill provides in particular that the aldermen must devote themselves to their duties on average 32 hours per week.
The pay rise should no longer cost the city money when it goes into effect for the next batch of aldermen elected in April. That’s when a new redistricting map comes into effect, reducing the number of seats in city wards from 28 to 14 and subsequently halving the number of aldermen who must be paid.
Council of Aldermen chair Megan Green, who supports the bill, said council members have been underpaid for years, lagging behind other cities of a similar size.
“The aldermen are going to be doing twice the work they were doing before and therefore increasing salaries, maybe doing it full time, I think those are common sense strategies,” Green told 5 On Your Side in november.
“It was never a part-time job for me,” Ward 1 Alderman Sharon Tyus said. “…People act like $75,000 is like that exorbitant amount of money. It is not an exorbitant sum. And if we had gotten our raises as originally planned, we would have been there and gone by now. »
Ward 12 Alderman Bill Stephens, who plans not to run for re-election in April, said while he wishes the bill’s wording also banned outside employment with the increase, he did not oppose the bill “because I believe the public service should not hurt its ability to pay its bills.”
Among those against the bill was Ward 23 Alderman Joe Vaccaro, who at Friday’s board meeting called it “wrong” and “huge injustice to all workers in the city” who earn less money.
Here’s a breakdown of how the aldermen voted on the bill:
- Yes: Megan Green, Sharon Tyus, Brandon Bosley, Dwinderlin Evans, James Page, Christine Ingrassia, Jack Coatar, Annie Rice, Bill Stephens, Carol Howard, Cara Spencer, Laura Keys, Shameem Clark Hubbard, Michael Gras, Norma Walker
- No: Dan Guenther, James Lappe, Bret Narayan, Tom Oldenburg, Anne Schweitzer, Jesse Todd, Sharon Tyus, Joseph Vaccaro, Joseph Vollmer,
- Abstained: Shane Cohn
- Absent: Lisa Middlebrook, Tina Pihl, Marlene Davis, Pam Boyd