Two Minneapolis City Council members who voted to raise their own pay in December said they don’t want that to happen again without more notice and discussion.
The council passed a last-minute resolution giving themselves and the mayor a $10,000 pay raise. The salary increase came without public comment or discussion, and it had passed through no council committees.
Council Members Cam Gordon and Andrew Johnson gave notice Friday that they will introduce an ordinance forbidding quiet passage of elected city official pay increases.
“We are interested in having an ordinance that would require advance notice of consideration of salary increases, a public hearing and an independent citizens’ panel that studies the issue and makes a recommendation that we vote on,” said Johnson, who represents the 12th Ward.
Gordon, who represents the 2nd Ward, said he’s open to ideas on how to structure the process, but he said at minimum, pay raises should go through committee.
“The decision to raise our salaries deserves a little more public exposure,” Gordon said. “Some of the times I’ve been here it’s gone to committee. The last two times it just came up at the last council meeting.”
The latest pay increases passed unanimously and will cost the city $140,000 per year. Johnson said it’s important for elected officials’ salaries to be competitive, but it’s also important for the council to get outside input before it votes.
“For most of us, our own pay was not a priority, which is why when we found out at the very end of the term that this was being brought forward, by then it was too late for any sort of public hearing or any sort of advance notice,” Johnson said.
The ordinance is set to be introduced Feb. 9. If it gets seven votes on the 13-member council, it will be referred to a committee, then work its way to a public hearing and a decision by the council.