Rochester City Council votes to increase council and mayor wages

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(ABC 6 News) – The Rochester City Council narrowly voted Monday night to increase their salary as well as the mayor’s salary next year.

After heated debate, the council also decided to change how their salaries are determined in the future. Salaries will be set as a fixed number rather than changing yearly based on adjusted median income.

The new salaries are:

  • Mayor: Increased from $65,700 to $83,760
  • Council President: Increased from $47,300 to $64,216
  • Council Members: Increased from $39,420 to $55,840

Councilmember Molly Dennis voted in favor of the pay increase – saying the now livable wage will allow for more diversity within the council.

"Livable wages, they allow people to have true representation in the city of Rochester," Dennis said.

This new salary is similar to that of a county commissioner’s – around $50,000. Some council members argued that in order to best serve the community, they’re working well over 40 hours a week. Others argued that they don’t need a livable wage. They took this job not for the salary, but for the public service.

"I did not see that we had a lack of candidates who wanted to run last time. I don’t think people run for the money – or at least I hope they don’t," Councilmember Shaun Palmer said.

Also in Monday night’s meeting, the council tabled their decision to fill the Chateau Theatre with Threshold Arts.