St Louis Residents Can Weigh-In on Possible Aldermanic Raise

A proposal would raise the pay of the new, smaller board to $72K

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click to enlarge St. Louis City Hall. - DOYLE MURPHY
St. Louis City Hall.

With the number of aldermen in the city set to shrink from 28 to 14, aldermen have now proposed making those 14 positions full-time jobs that are significantly better-paying.

Ward 14 Alderwoman Carol Howard introduced one of the pieces of legislation, which, if passed, would raise an alderman's salary from  $37,400 per year to $72,000.

Howard tells the RFT that "if we're looking to recruit young people that are interested in the city and that have a resume, I think we need to pay them and make it at least so they have a living wage. And if they happen to have a family, they can feed them."

A separate bill put forth by Alderman Joe Vaccaro, representing Ward 23 in south city, would make the alderman position a full-time job.

Before the full Board of Aldermen vote on these bills, the board's personnel committee is taking the unusual step of holding a public meeting on Saturday morning to solicit public feedback.

The meeting is virtual, with information on how to join available on the city's website.

Howard tells the RFT that the $72,000 salary is meant to be the starting point of a discussion of what a full time alderman's compensation should be.

"I thought, we'll start there," she says. "If people feel that's too much, there's room for negotiation. And that was the thinking behind having the public involved."

The ward reduction takes effect in March of next year.

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Ryan Krull

Ryan Krull is a staff writer for the Riverfront Times. Find him on Twitter @ryanwkrull
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