The council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance at Monday night’s regular meeting. Per the terms of the motion, the mayor’s salary is increased from $2,000 per month, with no benefits aside from travel, to $42,000 per year, with benefits. The mayor pro tem’s salary remained at $500 per month.
“I feel like it’s money well spent,” said councilman Lynn Taylor. “The city is growing up, and we need our own cheerleader, you might say. Especially in a down economy, that’s when we need someone out there beating the bushes for us, to bring new business into the city of Moody. I feel that, a full-time, or mayor that’s here more often, is going to be that cheerleader, you might say.”
Both salaries were the recommendation of the city’s finance committee. However, a few minutes before the meeting began, councilman Phillip Deason proposed that the council forego its salary for 2012-2016 — it was recommended that it remain at $400 per month — to help diffuse the difference.
“That’s the best way to be expense neutral,” Deason said. “I would do this for free.
“I took the pledge (in 2008), and it wasn’t for the money – it was to do the best I can with what I have. I would feel better if I wasn’t getting paid, knowing I was trying to move the city forward.”
The other council members agreed, something Lee called “a pretty big statement.”
“That’s a big commitment on the city council’s part, I thought,” Lee said.
Lee said he intends to run for reelection this summer, which would be his third full term as mayor. If re-elected, he said he intends to retire from his bus route in order to spend more time working on the business of the city.
Councilman Paul Johnson said the mayor’s salary is not high enough.
“The mayor’s salary was too cheap,” he said. “With surrounding municipalities, with Moody growing the way it is, in four years, the salary can be changed again, but I don’t know too many people that would do it for that type salary. There may be.
“I’m glad that somebody’s wanting to do it and eager to do it, but I think it was too cheap. But that’s just me.”
Crowe, the mayor pro tem, suggested her office also forego its salary, but the rest of the council disagreed.
“I think it’s a commitment on the mayor pro tem’s part,” Lee said. “They have a commitment just like the mayor of the city, being on all the bank accounts, and every document that can’t be signed in the mayor’s absence, has to be signed by the mayor pro tem. And they have to be available.”
The council voted unanimously in favor of the ordinance, including Crowe, though she did so reluctantly.
“I don’t like it,” she said.
In other business, the council:
• Approved $3,000 to advertise and pay salaries for the city’s first “Amnesty Day” (see page 3A), to clear old warrants and outstanding citations from the system.
• Approved four signs to advertise the city’s commercial property located near Interstate 20, at a total cost of $445.
• Adopted the St. Clair County Emergency Operations Procedures, per the recommendation of Fire Chief Joe Nobles and Emergency Management Agency Director Ellen Haynes.
• Approved $6,000 to replace the monitor and nozzle on the city’s ladder truck, as well as $2,635 to repair fire engine 3.
• Approved startup payment and equipment purchase for a credit card system at the ballpark, at a cost of $549.
• Approved an annual contract for brush and weed control along a portion of the Little Cahaba River banks, estimated at $1,500 per year.
• Authorized city attorney Bill Weathington to pursue a legislative act that would allow the city to charge a $100 warrant recall fee, charged to the defendant.
• Approved $325 for code enforcement officer Paul Brasher to purchase a computer stand.
• Approved an ordinance to set a city policy for vehicle use, that includes the IRS commute tax information for all non-emergency personnel issued a vehicle.
• Approved $360.98 for city public works director Wayne Taylor to attend the Alabama Association of Plumbing, Gas and Mechanical Inspectors conference in Auburn, April 4-6.
• Authorized Taylor to advertise to hire a new employee for the department. Applications will be accepted until March 20.
• Approved $3,800 for police uniforms, as well as $300 for police chaplain jackets.
• Approved $337.50 for the LETS quarterly fee.
Contact Will Heath at firstname.lastname@example.org.