For the second time in eight months, Bellevue City Council member Pat Shannon is seeking a $6,000 raise for council members and the city’s mayor.
Shannon’s proposal would raise Mayor Rusty Hike’s salary to $21,000 from $15,000. Council members’ pay would increase to $17,000 from $11,000.
The proposal went before the City Council for the first time Tuesday without discussion. A public hearing will be held at the council’s July 16 meeting. A vote on the pay increase would likely occur in early August.
If passed, the raises would take effect Dec. 1, 2020.
Shannon told The World-Herald that the proposed increase corresponds to the amount of time and effort the city’s elected officials give to keeping the city running.
“It’s just time,” Shannon said. “This’ll barely get us to minimum wage for the time we’re putting in right now. I think it’s fair and reasonable.”
Sign up for World-Herald news alerts
Be the first to know when news happens. Get the latest breaking headlines sent straight to your inbox.
Last November, an identical proposal by Shannon was defeated by a 4-2 vote of the council. Shannon had attempted to waive the traditional process by which agenda items are announced, deliberated and voted on over three meetings spanning six weeks — providing time for research and public comment.
Shannon said Tuesday that this time around, he’s confident the council will vote for the pay raise once the public has had an opportunity to weigh in.
For 25 years, the salary for City Council members was $7,000, according to previous World-Herald reporting. It increased to $11,000 in 2010.
If Hike were to be paid $21,000, he would tie with Ralston’s mayor as the second-highest paid mayor of Omaha’s suburban cities. Papillion Mayor David Black earns $25,370.
Virtually all mayors and council members in Omaha’s suburban cities have full-time jobs in addition to their public roles. Hike is a real estate broker. Black is a vice president at Pinnacle Bank.
Here’s how the pay of other local mayors and city councils compare:
Mayor David Black earns $25,370; council members make $12,685.
Those salaries took effect in September 2006. Before that adjustment, the mayor received $8,000 and council members got $4,000.
Mayor Doug Kindig makes $16,000. The council members are paid $8,000.
From 2005 to 2016, the city’s mayor made $10,800, while its council members made $4,320.
Mayor Don Groesser makes $21,000 a year.
The president of the city council, Jerry Krause, makes $8,580; the other five council members make $7,380.
In 2012, the mayor’s salary was raised by $400 a month to the current rate. The City Council voted in 2016 to give the council president an additional $100 a month.