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Trussville again pulls mayor, council salary adjustments from agenda

By Gary Lloyd

TRUSSVILLE — Perhaps the third time will be the charm.

The Trussville City Council last Tuesday pulled ordinances to amend mayor and city council salaries for the next administration from its agenda. It did so due to a “thin staff,” Councilman Alan Taylor said. Council President Buddy Choat and Councilman Anthony Montalto were absent from last week’s meeting.

It pulled the same ordinances from its agenda June 10 for further review.

The city council next meets Tuesday, July 8 at 6 p.m. at Trussville City Hall.

A former Trussville City Council, including Wayne Taylor, Buddy Aydelette, Buddy Choat, Anthony Montalto and Brian Plant discusses a sales tax increase in 2011 at the Trussville Civic Center.
file photo by Scott Buttram

The proposed ordinance would increase the mayor’s yearly salary from $60,000 to $72,000 and each council member’s pay to $750 per month. Each councilman makes $500 per month now, and the council president makes $1,000 per month.

All the salary adjustments would take effect for the elected administration that takes office in November 2016, not for the incumbent mayor and council. If approved, the salary can’t be changed for incumbents. State law requires salary changes to be approved at least six months prior to a municipal election. The next municipal election in Trussville is in August 2016.

The holdup at the June 10 meeting was a recommendation by a council member that the mayor receive all cost of living raises granted to city employees. The way the ordinance was drafted, it was unclear if in the following administrations the mayor began back at $72,000 or if his salary took up where the last mayor’s salary left off, including any increases during those four years.

The ordinance would also give future mayors the option to participate in the employee health insurance plan under the same conditions and costs as full-time employees. There are currently no provisions for insurance for the mayor. Council positions are part time, and do not include insurance coverage.

The rate of pay for all council positions beginning in November 2016, should the ordinance eventually be approved, will be $750 per month, an increase of $250 for council members and a decrease of $250 for the council president. The reason for the decrease for the council president is a belief that the president’s duties are not significantly different than those of council members.

The mayor’s $60,000 yearly salary was established in 1998 to become effective with the administration that took office in the fall of 2000. The council’s $500 per month pay rate was established in 1995 to become effective with the administration that took office in the fall of 1996. There was no council president in Trussville in 1996.

When the city received the results of the federal decennial census of 2000 in 2002, state law required a change in the form of government in the administration next succeeding receipt of census results, indicating the city’s population had exceeded 12,000 people. Based on those results, the city knew it would have a council president for the 2004 administration, and the monthly rate for the council president was set at $1,000.

Trussville’s current mayor is Gene Melton, and council members are Choat (council president), Montalto, Taylor, Perry Cook and Brian Plant.

The city council last week also pulled from the agenda a franchise agreement with Bright House Networks. It will likely be on the next agenda.

Contact Gary Lloyd at news@trussvilletribune.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.

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