The mayor of Fairfax City and members of the City Council are up for their first pay raises since the early 1960s.
Council members are considering raising the mayor's annual salary from $5,000 to $6,000, and hiking their own salaries from $2,400 to $4,500 a year, according to Tom Welle, city spokesman. The last time the mayor's salary was increased was 1962 and the last council pay raise was in 1966, Welle said.
The Virginia General Assembly last year granted the council authority to increase annual salaries up to a $7,500 maximum for the mayor and a $5,000 ceiling for council members, Welle said. The council last week decided to propose pay hikes below those ceilings, however.
Councilman John Perrin said the salaries need to be increased to reflect the expansion of members' duties since 1966.
"It's never popular to change the salary of an elected official, so earlier councils never went to the General Assembly to get the authority to raise the salaries," he said. Perrin said all six council members are up for reelection this spring, and he believes it would be "low class" to wait until after the election to increase the salaries.
The proposed pay raise was opposed by councilman William Calnan, who called the idea "bad judgment."
"Our duties are not full-time, demanding, 24-hour-a-day jobs," he said. "We have a history of voluntary community participation in our local government. There should be only a token recompense."
A public hearing on the proposed raises is scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday at Fairfax City Hall, 10455 Armstrong St.