An $8,000 a year pay raise for the mayor and a $6,000 a year raise for members of the Bellevue City Council will be the subject of a public hearing July 16.
Councilman Pat Shannon introduced an ordinance July 2 that would increase mayoral pay from $15,000 a year to $23,000.
Council member pay would climb from $11,000 a year to $17,000.
That represents a 54 percent pay increase for council members and a 53 percent increase for the mayor. They would be the first increases since 2010.
If granted, the raises would be effective Dec. 1, 2020, after the 2020 elections and before the new council is sworn in.
It is the second time in less than a year that Shannon has tried to increase the pay of council members and the mayor.
His last attempt was Nov. 13 when council members voted 4-2 to kill a similar proposal. Since then, two of the four no votes — John Hansen and Jim Moudry — have left the council and Shannon is hoping for better outcome the second time around.
“We’re putting in a lot of hours, I’m probably putting in 20 hours a week between spending 4 to 8 hours getting ready for a council meeting, meetings at the city, lunches and dinners that I attend,” Shannon said.
“If the citizens want to have an engaged City Council that’s working and involved, they’ve got to get the pay commensurate to the time that’s being put in.
“I think that what we’re asking for is commensurate and fair.”
Comparing pay rates to the neighboring cities of Papillion and La Vista yields contrasting results. The mayor of La Vista earns $16,000 a year, slightly more than the mayor of Bellevue’s $15,000.
La Vista council members are paid $8,000 a year, less than the $11,000 paid to Bellevue council members.
The population of La Vista is 17,116, less than one-third of Bellevue’s 53,424.
The mayor of Papillion, however, is paid $25,370, 69 percent more than the Bellevue mayor’s $15,000.
The population of Papillion is 19,539, a little more than one-third of Bellevue’s population.
A closer comparison might be the City of Grand Island, 145 miles to the west, whose population of 51,390 closely follows Bellevue’s 53,424.
The mayor of Grand Island is paid $16,000, while council members are paid $7,800.