Indy council moves closer to giving mayor, council members huge pay raises

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 30, 2015) - Indianapolis City County Councilors are one step closer to a 44 percent pay raise. They’re not the only ones, as a part of the deal the future Mayor, Joe Hogsett, would see a 30 percent increase in pay as well.

The proposal includes a $30,000 pay raise for the future Mayor, and each of the city’s 25 City County Councilors would see a $6,000 raise.

Councilwoman Mary Moriarty Adams (D – District 17) in her final few weeks as a City County Councilor introduced the bold proposal to provide pay raises to councilors, and the Mayor-elect.

“I’ve been on the council for 28 years and I step down the end of December. This has always been a hot topic when it has been broached any year that I’ve been in office,” said Adams.

A hot topic because the proposal would jack the Mayor’s salary up more than 30 percent from $95,000 to $125,000 a year. Councilors cash in on the deal as well. Their salaries would go up 44 percent from $11,400 annually to more than $16,000 starting the first of the year.

“No one ever wants to do it, there’s never a good time for it, but we are way behind in what we pay our Mayor and what we pay our council when you consider cities of similar size and the surrounding counties,” said Adams.

The Mayor of the largest city in Indiana doesn’t earn the largest paycheck. The Mayor of Gary, even the Mayor of Carmel are paid more than $20,000 on top of what Mayor Ballard makes.

Compare Indy to Cincinatti, Louisville, and many other cities and Ballard’s paycheck pales in comparison.

“You have to wonder about the timing of this and after the election, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to do it now,” said City County Councilor, Aaron Freeman (R - District 25).

Some republican council members though aren’t buying it. Freeman called into question why Democrats proposed the pay raises after Hogsett had already won.

​At least one taxpayer agreed.

“I think it’s a bad idea. I think if they want to do a pay raise, they should’ve done it while the Mayor’s running instead of one coming into office,” said Indianapolis resident Marc Mauer.

The proposal needs approval from a council committee, then the full council, then Mayor Ballard would have to sign off on it. Ballard has not commented on the matter.

$75,000 of the funding for the pay raises would come from the elimination of the at-large city county council seats, the rest of the funding has not yet been decided.

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