May 18, 2022

Proposal to increase pay for City-County Councilors moves one step closer

FILE: Doug Jaggers/WFYI

FILE: Doug Jaggers/WFYI

Indianapolis City-County Councilors haven’t had a pay raise in 20 years. A new proposal would provide a salary increase for all 25 councilors.

The part time council members make $11,400 a year, way below similar Midwest counterparts. Councilors in Nashville, Tennessee make $23,000 and they make four times as much in Louisville, Kentucky. 

An analysis of the pay issue finds there are fewer elected officials representing more residents.  The cost of living has also increased. City-County Council Policy Director Brandon Herget said increased technology adds to the job demand.

“I know that all of you in this room feel that pressure and understand what it's like to be responsive to your constituents on a 24-hour basis,” Herget said.

A Rules and Public Policy Committee this week passed a nearly $20,000 pay raise proposal that would bump compensation to more than $31,000. By law, compensation for elected officials must be changed through an ordinance.

Four Republican councilors on the committee voted against the proposal.  Councilor Michael-Paul Hart takes issue with the fact that his constituents won’t soon see their pay tripled.

“I understand how this issue has compounded over time, just from I guess you could call it ‘kicking the can’, but that for me is the biggest heartburn is I don't think it’s very reflective of the people I represent,” Hart said.

The presentation stated the increase would not significantly impact wouldn’t the city budget.

Research surveys indicated a majority of residents believe councilors should be paid more.

The new pay wouldn’t go into effect until 2024.

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