Voters have the power to decide on council pay raises

Community

When casting their vote, Wheeling residents have the power to decide if the next city council receives the first pay raise in 28 years.

7news spoke with many voters this morning that say they are undecided about how they will vote for the pay raise.

Vice Mayor Chad Thalman said this is quite a unique opportunity; typically, councils vote internally on their pay raises.

“But, here in Wheeling the current city council wanted to make sure the voters are the ones that actually make this decision,” said Thalman.

Life-long Wheeling resident John Clemont said he appreciates that voting power from a council he thinks is starting to make change.

“As long as they keep on doing the work they doing now to try to improve Wheeling, that’s the main thing,” said Clemont.

Currently, the mayor makes $11,000, council makes $8,500 with no benefits.

“I think a lot of people expect the mayor and city council to solve their problems and I think they recognize if they want these problems solved that they need good and qualified people in these positions,” said Thalman.

For West Virginia county commissioners, the pay is set by county population, most make at least $30,000 plus benefits. John said he thinks voting yes is fair.

“I will probably vote for it since they haven’t had one in awhile,” said Clemont.

Vice Mayor Thalman said the raise will help recruit the best candidates John says he’d like to see the good candidates keep up the momentum

“I worry about Wheeling going downhill more,” said Clemont.

Ultimately, Thalman said he wants to leave it up to the voters to decide.

“Raising the pay for the first time in 28 years is one way to help insure that we have qualified people running for these positions,” said Thalman.

This will only be on Wheeling residents ballots, and will go into effect for the 2020 city council.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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