Roanoke City Council Delays Decision on Salary Increase

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In a 5-to-2 vote, Roanoke City Council decided to delay the decision to increase council members' salary by 28.5 percent and the mayor's salary by 15 percent.

Monday was supposed to be the second and final vote for the pay raise.

During the meeting, several community members expressed their disapproval for such a big raise.

"The workers don't like it, as you heard in here," Roanoke citizen Robert Grevely says. "The citizens don't like it, as you've seen today."

Councilman David Trinkle says he isn't surprised many people in our community are responding negatively to a pay raise.

He believes a 10 percent increase is more reasonable, with eight percent compensating for the money council members will already lose if they do nothing, from a mixture of new pension and insurance policies that kick in starting in 2014.

The actual pay raise would just be two percent, which Trinkle says is more in line with what city employees are given.

"It gives us a raise and it doesn't kick the can down the road with doing nothing," Trinkle says.

City Council member Bill Bestpitch, who originally voted in favor of the increase, made the motion to postpone the vote, passed in a 5-to-2 decision.

"It's very important to maintain good relationships with other city council members," Bestpitch says.

Bestpitch responded to the community members who said they should have accepted the salary as it stands when they accepted the job.

"We knew what the salary was when we ran for office, but we also knew that it was part of our job to decide what's an appropriate salary," Bestpitch says. "Not making incremental increases on a regular basis is a mistake we need to correct."


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