St. Louis Aldermen Vote to Nearly Double Aldermen Pay

With the mayor's final approval, aldermen in office after the April election will earn $72,000 instead of $34,000

Share on Nextdoor
click to enlarge St. Louis City Hall. - DOYLE MURPHY
St. Louis City Hall.

Members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted to nearly double aldermanic salaries today. 

With a 15-8 vote, aldermen passed a bill that will raise aldermen’s salaries from $37,400 per year to $72,000 after the next general election in April.

Passage of the bill followed months of discussion over whether the city should leverage its shrinking board size to boost the pay of remaining aldermen. After April’s election, the board will be reduced from 28 members to 14.

Ward 14 Alderwoman Carol Howard, who is not running for reelection this spring, sponsored the bill. Every St. Louis employee “needs to be paid what they’re valued at,” Howard said at the board’s meeting on Friday.

“If we’re going to be a competitive 21st century city, we need to pay everyone a competitive rate,” Howard adds. 

Aldermen against Howard’s proposal have criticized the bill for being “tone deaf” and unfair to municipal employees. 

Ward 23 Alderman Joe Vaccaro said he hopes the mayor vetoes the bill, calling it “flat wrong.”

“I believe it’s a huge misjustice to all of the workers in the city,” Vaccaro says. 

The bill is not a perfect one, Alderman Bill Stephens says, but it could help introduce “swift change” in the city. 

“Yes, our city servants absolutely deserve higher pay raises … nevertheless, holding public office is a position that every citizen should see themselves in. For quite a few of our citizens, this current salary — especially with the doubling of responsibilities — presents a budgetary concern,” Stephens says. 

Stephens pointed out that aldermen could forfeit their salary if they were so opposed.

Howard’s proposal requires aldermen to average at least 32 work hours a week — though some aldermen say they often put in much more. 

Ward 4 Alderwoman Dwinderlin Evans says that aldermen often put in far more time than the city could possibly pay them for and a pay increase is “well needed.” 

“I wish we did get paid for all the hours we put in our wards,” Evans says. 

The bill now heads to the mayor’s desk for final approval.

Coming soon: Riverfront Times Daily newsletter. We’ll send you a handful of interesting St. Louis stories every morning. Subscribe now to not miss a thing.
Follow us: Google News | NewsBreak | Reddit | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

About The Author

Monica Obradovic

Monica Obradovic is a staff writer for the Riverfront Times.
Scroll to read more St. Louis Metro News articles (1)


Join Riverfront Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.