Office // Old salary // New salary
City, county mayors // $146,607 // $151,006
Commission chair // $27,100 // $27,913
Council chair // $26,991 // $27,651
Council vice chair // $24,491 // $25,151
Commission vice chair // $23,921 // $24,639
City Council member //$21,991 // $22,651
County commissioner // $20,745 // $21,368
Source: Chattanooga, Hamilton County
The city and county mayors will have an extra $4,400 to tuck in their wallets this year.
The Hamilton County Commission approved a 3 percent pay raise for all employees. That includes the county mayor, and pay for commissioners, City Council members and Chattanooga's mayor all are linked to his salary.
County Mayor Jim Coppinger put the raises in the county budget this year. He said he thought the offices needed additional money as much as other county employees.
"I did think about it on the front end, but it's not about Jim Coppinger," he said. "It's about the office of mayor."
The last pay increase for the mayors, commissioners and council members was in 2007. Chattanooga's charter states that the city mayor's salary must match the county mayor's, and that part-time council members' pay is 15 percent of the mayor's salary.
Council Chairwoman Pam Ladd doesn't favor the increase.
"If I had my druthers, I'd rather we didn't get it," she said.
Richard Beeland, spokesman for Mayor Ron Littlefield, said the office has "no control" over the salaries.
"It's all tied to the county's mayor," he said.
Commission Chairman Larry Henry said Friday that when there is a pay increase for county workers it almost always has included the mayor and the commission. He said it would be out of the ordinary for the mayor to consider taking himself and the commission out of the budget.
"There was no dissent from the commission," he said. "In the past, it's always been precedent."
Cliff has worked for the Times Free Press for five years and covers Chattanooga city government. He previously covered Rhea County, as well as transportation and growth and development in Southeast Tennessee. A native of Maryville, Tenn., Cliff graduated in 2003 from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis on journalism. Before coming to Chattanooga, he was a crime reporter with Hernando Today, a supplement of The Tampa (Fla.) ...