Should Mayor and City Council Members Get Paid Per Meeting?
Responding to an article in the Douglas County Sentinel, the Douglasville Mayor and City Council are taking a new look at how other local cities compensate their elected officials.
Currently the Mayor gets paid $313 per meeting and each City Council member gets paid $125 each, according to City Clerk Joyce Stone. The Mayor is also allowed $400 a month for expenses and each City Council member and the City Attorney are allowed $150 a month.
In the Sentinel article, the newspaper pointed out that a former mayor and current city council members may have been improperly paid for meetings not covered under statute criteria.
In question are meetings that were held via teleconference and by electronic means because the ordinance states that the elected official must attend in person.
"Former Mayor Mickey Thompson had several meetings for which he was paid..that on the surface appear to not be allowable for compensation," the article reads.
"Council members with the most payments from submissions that do not appear to fit the statute criteria are Sam Davis and LaShun Burr Danley," the article said.
A subsequent Sentinel article points out that, "Douglasville is all alone in using a per-meetings system to calculate compensation."
The newspaper reported that "a survey conducted by the Douglas County Sentinel, using open record requests, showed that cities of comparable population in the extended metro area all pay elected officials a salary, with checks being issued monthly."
"Quite a bit of discussion has been had internally with the council regarding meetings, pay and compensation," Mayor Harvey Persons said at Monday night's City Council meeting. "There's been some comments in the community and a recent newspaper article about it. In light of this, I chose to issue a press release to the Sentinel Friday, June 15."
In the press release, not sent to Dougasville Patch, Persons apparently said he directed City Manager Bill Osborne to take a look at other cities and see how they compensate council members and the mayor. Persons said the report from Osborne is due in August and the City Council will make a decision at that time about what it is going to do.
(Editor's note: Upon our request, the press release was sent and is attached to this article.)