MINNEAPOLIS - Minneapolis City Council members have voted to give themselves and the city's new mayor a $10,000 raises.
The council approved the raises at its last meeting of the year on Dec. 15. The council implemented the raises through a last-minute resolution that was approved unanimously without discussion.
Council member Abdi Warsame was the only exception and absent during the meeting.
The move brings council members' salaries to $98,695. Mayor-elect Jacob Frey, who voted as a council member, will make $126,528.
Council President Barb Johnson said during the meeting. "I'll explain why I am doing this. We have fallen behind as council members during challenging times. We had several years where we had no salary increases whatsoever among us and among employees. I want to be clear about that."
Johnson also said the raises will put Minneapolis on par with comparable sized city councils like Denver and Boston.
In Denver city council members make roughly $91,915. The 13 council members in Boston each make about $99,500 per year.
The resolution also provides the mayor and council members with annual raises for the remainder of their four-year terms.
The $140,000 for the raises wasn't included in the city's budget. The resolution calls for pulling the money from city departments including:
- $50,000 from the City Coordinator
- $30,000 from Finance & Property Services
- $10,000 from the City Clerk
- $10,000 appropriations for health
- $20,000 Community Planning & Economic Development
- $10,000 Regulatory services
- $10,000 Human Resources
A city spokeswoman Sarah Mckenzie says the raise equates to less than 100th of 1% of the city's budget and will not have a negative effect on each department. She added that that each department also saw more funding in next year's budget.
According to city records since 2002 city council members have received roughly a $2,000 salary increase each year. This latest pay increase is the largest since that time.
Frey's campaign manager, Joe Radinovich, says the raises bring compensation levels in line with surrounding jurisdictions.