Friday, January 18, 2002

League seeks higher pay for mayors

The Associated Press

        FRANKFORT — A bill being pushed by the Kentucky League of Cities would set modern minimum salaries for mayors whose councils or commissions declare them to be full-time officeholders.

        The idea is to ensure that high-caliber people seek such offices, KLC officials told the House Local Government Committee, which approved the bill Thursday.

        The bill also is to give councils and commissions some guidance about their own powers, the officials said.

        Cities already are free to pay their mayors more than the minimum. But there is no provision in law for allowing most cities to declare the mayor's job to be full time. “There's a lot of confusion out there,” KLC Executive Director Sylvia Lovely said.

        The bill, if enacted, would allow councils or commissions to make such declarations. Those that did would be required to pay these minimum salaries: $48,000 in second-class cities, $36,000 in third-class, $24,000 in fourth-class and $12,000 in fifth-class. Louisville, the state's only first-class city, would not be affected.

        The league's president, Fort Mitchell Mayor Tom Holocher, said he is paid $2,600 a year for what is “basically a volunteer position.”

        “I spend 25 or 30 hours there, but I'm still part-time,” said Mr. Holocher.

        Republican Rep. Stan Lee of Lexington said the bill was unnecessary. “I think it's going to be taken as a mandate ... to raise salaries for mayors.”


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