Pay raises planned in South Pittsburg commission

Pay raises planned in South Pittsburg commission

April 16th, 2012 by Ryan Lewis in News

Former South Pittsburg Mayor Mike Killian

Former South Pittsburg Mayor Mike Killian

Photo by Ben Benton /Times Free Press.

SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. -- The South Pittsburg City Commission plans to raise its own pay in anticipation of at least two new members after the Nov. 6 election.

If approved, the move would raise the mayor's pay from $400 to $600 per month, and city commissioners' pay from $200 to $400 per month.

Last week, the board voted unanimously for the raises on first reading, but three readings are required for the measure to pass.

South Pittsburg Mayor Mike Killian said city leaders are in a bit of a time crunch because of city charter regulations.

"The charter says that this has to be done six months before a new group takes office," he said. "We're going to have to have a special called meeting, so we could get two readings in there."

Officials said a special called meeting will be held today at 5 p.m. CDT to address the pay raise and some other time-sensitive city business.

Commissioner Charles Reynolds said he wanted to be sure to get the pay raises approved within the tight six-month window before the next election.

"If we voted for this at the May meeting [on third and final reading], we would be six months before the election," Killian said. "We'll get the first two readings in. If we have to have a special meeting for the public hearings, we will."

Both Killian and Reynolds recently announced they will not seek re-election in November.

South Pittsburg Attorney Tracy Wooden said he will make sure the City Commission is "well aware of the timelines [they're] up against."

According to Killian, the mayor and city commissioners haven't had a pay increase since the South Pittsburg city charter was adopted in 1990.

"As one of the [Marion County] commissioners put it, the $200 per month will not pay the aspirin bills," he said.