Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

UPDATE: We were factually incorrect with our story. The City Council now makes $200 per month, not $150 and the Mayor makes $250 not $200 per month. We regret the mistake and apologize for the error. The story below has been corrected.

 

At a recent City Council meeting, the Eudora City Council voted themselves a pay raise. In the past, City Council members received $150 per year.

While the City Council has discussed the idea of a pay raises for council members in the past, they never brought forward a formal proposal. In late June, the idea was brought with a formal proposal to raise City Council members pay to $200 a month and the Mayor would receive $250 per month for their services.  According to the minutes of the meeting, the resolution passed unanimously 4-0.  Councilman Kenny Massey was not present at this meeting and did not vote on the resolution.  This pay raise went into effect at the beginning of July.

(Editor’s Note: I was out of town and unable to attend this meeting so I was not hear any of the discussion that took place about this particular issue when the resolution was passed.  The minutes of the meeting reflected no discussion of this particular topic either.)

In past meetings over the course of 6 months where this had been discussed, council members had discussed that they felt they deserved something more than $150 per year for their time and efforts.  Both former and current council members have discussed over the course, how they spend a great deal of time researching and participating in events outside the normal City Council meetings that occur twice a month.  This includes preparation time for the council meetings, working with constituents either in person or via phone calls they receive regularly, and attending various committee meetings and functions that pertain to being members of the Eudora City Council.

At the last City Council meeting, where Councilman Tim Reazin and Mayor Scott Hopson were not present, Councilman Massey did bring up the discussion of the raises and asked if part of the new salary should be held back if a Council member was not able to attend a scheduled meeting. Massey referred to himself missing the previous meeting as a perfect example.   While there was no action brought in front of the council at the July meeting in regards to pay being restricted for missing meetings, there seemed to be some arguments to both sides of the issue.

Councilman Bill Whitten was against restricting pay since the money was not designed to compensate solely for the council meetings. Whitten made reference to the fact that the raise was given in part because of all the time commitments involved, not just the council meetings.

Councilwoman Ruth Hughs stated that she had similar thoughts to Councilman Massey about the same thing after the meeting where the raises were approved.

While there was no action taken, it seems there may be some more discussion in the future about the money council members receive.

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12 Responses to Eudora City Council gets a raise

  • Didn’t they want to be a part of the City Council to help better Eudora, not to make money? Isn’t Eudora out of money? How is a pay raise going to help our budget? When my budget is tight the first thing I do is give myself a raise…..

  • As a mother I perform a variety of functions much like he councilmen. I discuss a variety of subjects on the phone at various times of the day.I am called upon in a tight spot to attend a last minute meeting for an organization,I attend a variety of functions to get information, I research a variety of subjects pertaining to my family. I arrange schedules,due light emergency treatments,plan menus,meals,cleaning schedules,school schedules, appointments. I have to talk to various people on a number of topics each and everyday.I also plan budgets and am constantly trying to get blood out of a turnip.But, my talk comes cheap. The next time I notice street work that never gets done I will understand why. Shame on you. I appreciate the work you put into serving the community but,don’t appreciate the self imposed increase. It should have been put to a vote by the voters that voted you into office.

  • “In past meetings over the course of 6 months where this had been discussed, council members had discussed that they felt they deserved something more than $150 per year for their time and efforts. Both former and current council members have discussed over the course, how they spend a great deal of time researching and participating in events outside the normal City Council meetings that occur twice a month. This includes preparation time for the council meetings, working with constituents either in person or via phone calls they receive regularly, and attending various committee meetings and functions that pertain to being members of the Eudora City Council.”

    Did the members of the council and “Eudora Mayor Scott Hopson” not know that this job, which each one actively sought with much time and money spent in the process of achieving them, would be a time consuming process to do properly*. If it was too much work to serve the citizens of Eudora with only the compensation received by former members and mayors, then why did they seek the position in the first place. Should they not be concerned more about what the citizens deserved in ways of compensation (i.e. better roads, better water, more businesses to improve the tax base, etc.) for electing them to their positions than what they deserve for doing the job they asked for? Maybe we should all be paid for doing community service and talking to our neighbors about issues that concern us. How much should we pay all the coaches and parent helpers of the organizations that have brought us so much enjoyment watching our children and grandchildren play and learn sports and sportsmanship, learn to improve their lives through boy/girl scouts, prepare and deliver meals to our elderly and special citizens, and any other volunteer that needs no special compensation for doing their civic duty. These organizations have bake sales, sell cookies, have concession stands, or ask for donations to keep them viable. To these people I say, you are what community service is all about. To the city council, why not think you are worth more than $150 per month, or is that next time?

    *Please notice that this word is used loosely.

  • After reading this I am flabergasted to hear our city council members are getting more money in times like this. The rest of us are not able to even think about asking for a raise due to the economic times.The city of Eudora is broke and looking for ways to save money and raise money , and they decide to spend more on themselves. This is a very very sad situation we have on hand.
    As political figures that are put in place as our council is , I would think they of all people should be aware of what the average citizen is doing to survive the times . To ask for more money to do a job that they swore to do for x amount of compensation and now jump up and ask for more , shows very little appreciation for the opportunity to help Eudora as a city.
    As a citizen I would be more proud of an elected official who resigns before asking the people of our city to dig deeper into their already empty pockets. Frankly I am embarrased to read this and hear that it is happening in our city.
    When I look aound the city and see streets halfass fixed , sidewalks sinking due to sewer failures,an electrical system that goes down constantly and businesses closing, i have to step back and ask , What are they thinking ?

  • Pay raise:

    The 150 a month will cover their gas and expenses related to performing functions for the city. No city should expect their council members to spend their own money to attend events.

    Lets get real about the 150$ a month; that’s before taxes. So with the remaining $100 dollars, the city council members have to attend two meetings a month, attend study sessions throughout the year and often drive to other towns or functions to review how other city operations are conducted.

    A more honest solution would be to pay council members appropriately. Many cities smaller than ours pay their council member 10 to 20 thousand dollars a year to participate in city government. Talent is never cheap or free.

    Johnny Stewart

  • Wow, that is some pay raise they gave themselves!! How about giving our FF and EMT’s a raise? They have meeting every week, many times they have to drive their own vechiles to Lawrence for those meetings. They are called away from their families at all hours of the day, ect..ect… You all know what they all do, so I don’t need to keep going on.

  • @Johnny Stewart

    Zoning change? New sewer? Road repairs? What is it you are trying to get in return for your comments on here?
    I have done and known of many citizens who have volunteered their time and money for many causes, with very little thanks or acknowledgement, such as working with kids in sports functions, scouting, meals programs, etc. and asked for nothing in return. They, as did the city council members, knew of the hours and money that would be need to sacrifice to perform these functions for the good of all involved. I have witnessed many of them out in the heat of the day this summer and did not hear one of them crying about how it was just too much time or money to spend for what little was received in return (and in their case, it is not even $150/year).
    What if the council members do not receive this raise in pay. Will they resign? I think not. Did they seek these positions for the monetary rewards in the first place? I think not. Ego, prestige, vindication, or whatever personal agenda they asked us to put them in these positions for, they knew it was pretty much a thankless job.
    Johnny, I would like for you to post on this forum which cities, smaller than or equal to Eudora in population, can afford to pay their elected officials $20,000 per year. If you can, I will get on my motorcycle and go ride on their well paved, smooth streets and drink some of their clean, clear water.
    So, Johnny, when you approach the city for whatever it is you are seeking for your understanding of the city council’s hardship in doing their ‘chosen’ civic duty, I just hope that they don’t tell you they don’t have the funds to satisfy your needs.

  • Very well put Mr. Tony
    They knew when they put up the yard signs to run for office they would not get paid much, but ran and won.
    Now they want to take more money, that is not right at all. If they wanted to pass a vote to pay the NEW council members more money,next election , that would be acceptable, but not for themselves.
    Mr. Stewart you have served on the shool board and got no pay, correct ? You did it becuse you wanted to get involved to help and likewise that is what the council and Mayor did when the were sworn in.
    I think if it was put to a public vote it wouldnt stand a chance of passing. What are they thinking ?
    This new raise is $1,800.00 per member a year. Would that not be enough to help fix some of the terrible pothole , crumbeling halfway repaired streets around town ?
    Would it not be a great amount to spend on advertising local businesses like other cities do on TV and raidio ? This would generate sales tax revenue that is needed very bad for Eudora.
    Could it not be used to get our firefighters some new equipment ?
    But to let them get a raise when they chose to work for basicly free to help our city , and now they backpedal and want more compensation, looks a bit trashy to most of us people on the streets.

  • First of all, I have to say I really appreciate the job that John does reporting on what goes on at city hall. Since we lost our weekly newspaper, our town leaders can do whatever they want without the checks and balances that we used to have.

    The thing that bothers me the most in reading about the pay raise is the fact that in the minutes, there is no record of the discussion. Sounds a little sketchy to me. Is it legal to vote yourself a raise….city attorney? What say you?

  • cookie ) Yes it is legal for them to do this.
    It must have been voted on to be passed. If it was done durring a city council meeting, it would be ok , as long as it was done by the book.
    It may be something that needs looked into to be sure it was done the way it should be done.
    Posted on the agenda, public comment, voted on and passed.
    That is how it is done.
    I urge people to go to the city council meetings and take part in this type of action.

  • I can’t really comment on the pay raise — I do think it should have been approved for a future council rather than granted to the sitting council that voted to give it to themselves.

    What I really want to say is a response to cookie’s comment about John and the great work he does: The Eudora Reporter rocks and is getting stronger all the time! People are reading the stories and commenting (and not attacking each other ((ok, there is some disagreement, but that’s healthy)) or being hateful as on so many other newspaper sites). We will have the checks and balances of a newspaper watchdog and informed readership. Tell your friends and neighbors to check out the Reporter! Knowledge is power! And you don’t have to wait until Wednesday to get the paper!

    I must disclose: I am not affiliated with the Eudora Reporter and have never met John. I do work for an area newspaper but live in Eudora.

    Thanks, cookiequeen and all others who took the time to read and comment.

  • Bring on the speed traps and following to closely citations !
    The public just paid for the pay raise : )