City Council Looking For Pay Raise

Wednesday, November 28th 2007, 8:46 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa City Councilors are considering a 200% pay bump for themselves. News On 6 anchor Omar Villafranca reports some members of the council don't want the raise, but another member says they deserve it.

Jack Henderson says being a Tulsa city councilor is a full-time job, with part-time pay.

"Being a public servant means that you are serving the people, it doesn't mean that you will serve them for nothing, it does not mean that you will be in charge of the city budget and get paid less than a janitor," said Tulsa City Councilor Jack Henderson.

City Councilors each make $18,000 a year. Henderson wants to bump the pay to $52,500 a year, exactly half of the mayor's salary.

Tulsa City Councilor John Eagleton says the city has other priorities.

"I don't think city councilors should be getting a pay raise until the streets are at least a ‘B’ rating, until the police are getting paid more, until the people putting out fires are paid more, and until the public works employees are getting paid more," said Councilor Eagleton.

The pay raise would take more than $310,000 a year from the city's general fund. That money could pay for seven new Tulsa police officers a year or fill more than 300 potholes on Tulsa city streets. Even if the council approves the measure, Tulsa voters will have the final say on the pay raise.

Councilor Eagleton says filling potholes should take priority over filling councilors pockets.

Councilor Henderson wants to let the voters decide.

"I didn't sign up to give myself a pay raise. I signed up to cut the budget every way I could. I signed up to maintain city services without raising taxes and I intend to continue to try and do that," said Councilor Eagleton.

"People keep saying 'you shouldn't want to vote yourself a raise', and that's right, that's why I'm saying, let the people make the decision. The voters have a right. They voted us into office, and they have a right to vote if we get an increase in pay or not," said Councilor Henderson.

The council is scheduled to vote on the proposal Thursday.

If the pay raise is approved, Tulsa residents will be able to vote for or against the pay increase.

Watch the video: City Council Considers Pay Raise