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City council discusses pay raise, longer terms
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Mayor Taft Hendrixson presented a proposed resolution to the board of aldermen at last Monday night’s council meeting to change the city charter.Under the terms of the proposal, the offices of the mayor and aldermen, who now serve two-year terms, would be extended to four years.The proposal also called for a pay hike, with aldermen receiving $150 per month, up from $25 per meeting. The council meets twice monthly if no special meetings are called.The mayor is currently paid $1,000 per month, but the rate could be raised to as much as $2,000 per month under the proposal.The Mayor’s pay scale would have to actually be changed by a vote of the aldermen on July 1 every year, and the changes would not go into effect until after the next election.To pass, the resolution will require a two thirds majority of the city council and the approval of the state legislature.The board delayed action on the resolution until the aldermen and the public have a chance to learn more about the proposals, and held a workshop on Feb. 27 to discuss the matter.Under the proposal, regular council meetings would be reduced from twice to once per month, and special meetings would be scheduled as needed.The mayor and aldermen's terms of office would remain staggered but with their terms increasing from two to four years, city elections, now conducted every year in June, would be held every two years, and would coincide with the county general elections in August.The proposal dictates that the mayor and two aldermen elected this year would serve for a term of two years and two months.The same seats would be up for election again in August 2014, after which they would serve four years.The other three aldermen seats, which would be up for grabs in June 2013 and winners would serve for a three year, two month term.Those same positions would then come up for election again in August 2020, putting the city elections in line with the county general elections.The aldermen also voted to accept Aeronautics grants approved for the Smithville Municipal Airport.These grants include a $166,667 grant for apron expansion at the facility.The city's obligation will be $16,667.Airport manager Wes Nokes told the aldermen that he has received a verbal commitment for a $1.5 million grant to re-pave the airport runway, as well as to pave and expand the parking lot.The city would have to match the grant with $150,000.