by Terry Rogers
On Monday, December 13, Milford City Council voted to increase compensation for City Council and Planning Commission members. The council increase will not be effective until May 2023 while the Planning Commission increase takes effect January 1, 2022.
City council members will now receive $100 per meeting while the Mayor will receive compensation of $600 per month. Planning Commission members will now receive $75 per regular or special meeting which they attend. A public hearing was held for both ordinances with no members of the public speaking for or against the increases.
“I do have a question,” Councilman Mike Boyle said. “Section 2 says salary shall be modified annually based on the Consumer Price Index beginning on January 1, 2023. I do have a problem. I think this is a case where we are the beneficiaries of this. I believe the council should stand before the electorate and approve this not just let it automatically occur. In that way, you walk away from it. You have no accountability. We approve every dollar that is spent on salaries in the city. Either union contract or through the city payroll department and we ought to do the same thing here. I think we’re escaping responsibility by just allowing this thing to kind of roll from year to year. It doesn’t look a direct.”
David Rutt, City Solicitor, explained that council could change the wording as increases to council compensation was a policy decision. He suggested that an amendment be made to remove an automatic escalator from the policy. Councilman Todd Culotta asked if changing the policy would make it more difficult for city staff and City Manager Mark Whitfield stated that it would not.
Because the city charter requires that any compensation increases to council cannot be implemented until six months after an election, the new payments would not begin until May 2023. However, because Planning Commission members are appointed, their increase will begin in January 2022.
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