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Indy council members to propose more than doubling their own pay

December 2, 2016

Indianapolis City-County Council members plan to propose more than doubling their own pay after a more modest plan failed a year ago.

Council Vice President Zach Adamson, along with fellow Democrat Monroe Gray, will introduce a proposal on Monday that would raise the 25 council members’ pay from $11,400 per year to $25,000 per year.

Councilors voted late last year to raise their pay to $16,000 per year, but that proposal was vetoed by outgoing Republican Mayor Greg Ballard, and the Council failed to overturn the veto.

Adamson said the raise was needed and warranted. Council pay hasn’t increased since 2002.

“We’re currently making less than what is legal to pay someone as an hourly rate,” Adamson said. “We’re moving it up to what a normal part-time salary would be.”

Currently, council members’ pay is calculated as a percentage of the mayor’s salary. The proposal would also strike that provision. Council members also are paid stipends for meetings.

Raising pay would require an additional budget appropriation, Council CFO Bart Brown told IBJ, as it is not in the 2017 council budget.

It would take an additional $425,000 to raise base salaries to $25,000 per year, Brown said.

Supporters in the past have pointed out that Indianapolis council members make far less than those in other cities.

For instance, in Carmel, annual council pay is more than $22,000, while the population there is less than 90,000. Indianapolis has a population of about 850,000.

But detractors on the council have said they believe a raise would be self-indulgent.

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