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Hancock council raises its pay

The Hancock City Council will get a raise next year after at least several years without one, the mayor and council members said.

"It's been many, many, years since it's been changed," mayor Bruce Malo said.

Council member Jeff Flaten said it may have been about 22 years since the council and mayor's salary were increased.

City clerk Jodi Bedel said the city officials deserve a raise because they are paid less when compared to similarly sized cities.

The mayor's annual salary will be $1,000 and the council members salary will be $650 starting in 2019. The per diem rate will stay at $50. The mayor's salary is an increase from $425. The council's salary is an increase from $350.

"I'm not begging for a raise," Malo said, but if the council did raise salaries there should be more than a $75 difference between the mayor and council members.

The mayor has accepted more responsibilities during the past six years mainly because of recommendations from the city's accountant, Malo said. Malo signs time cards, signs payroll, initials personnel sheets and also has other duties. The duties add up to 36 more times a year in the city office than the council, Malo said.

Malo suggested the mayor receive $350 more a year than council members.

"I say we pay the mayor the same as the fire chief, $1,000 a year," council member Jeff Flaten said. Flaten also suggested paying the council $750 a year. His motion died for lack of a second.

Council member Bob Staples said a 3 percent raise over about 22 years would be $650 in council pay. His motion to increase the mayor's pay to $1,000 and the council pay to $650 was approved.

On Aug. 28, the Morris City Council approved raising the pay of its mayor and council members. The mayor will receive $7,000 a year and the council will receive $6,000 a year. The city does not have per diems.

In January, the Stevens County Commissioners increased their salaries. The commissioners agreed to a 2 percent cost-of-living raise. Commissioners' salaries will be $17,122.74. Commissioners will continue to receive an employer contribution for benefits of $750 per month. The commissioners will also receive $60 a day per diem for travel in the county and $75 a day per diem or travel outside the county.