Rochester City Council members on Monday, January 22, approved a compensation increase in the amount of money they receive per meeting, but limited the number of meetings for which they will get paid, reducing their overall pay per year.
The pay adjustment is the first taken by the city council in more than a decade. The city is required by ordinance to review the council's compensation every two years, which is done by a compensation commission.
Rochester City Manager Blaine Wing said the council's pay was set at $55 per meeting for council members and $60 for the mayor, with a maximum of 33 meetings per year. Under the commission's recommendation, council members would receive $60 per meeting, while the mayor pro tem would receive $65 and the mayor $70, with the number of meetings they receive payment for capped at 24.
Council voted unanimously to accept the compensation commission's recommendation.
Under the new compensation structure, the maximum amount of payment to city council is reduced from $13,035 to $10,440. While the number of meetings for which council members receive payment was lowered, council will continue to meet for additional meetings in which they won't be paid.
Councilman Ben Giovanelli said council schedules 26 regular meetings per year, but that number doesn't include work sessions and special meetings council members are required to attend.
"I did the math once, with the amount of hours I put in it was about eight cents per hour or something like that, so we aren't talking about the national war debt here," Giovanelli said. "Although, our friends in the Hills get benefits. It's a pretty perky little thing over there."