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posted: 10/17/2012 4:44 PM

Batavia council asks committee to revisit salaries

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The Batavia City Council declined to cut the pay of aldermen to be elected in the spring.

Instead, it sent the matter of officials' compensation back to the government services committee for reconsideration.

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That committee had recommended cutting aldermanic pay 10 percent, to $180 per city council meeting. It also recommended freezing the pay of the mayor at the current rate of $26.05 an hour, instead of increasing it 5 percent annually, as has been the case the last four years. Both changes would first affect people elected in April; those whose terms don't expire until 2015 would still be paid $200 a meeting, as state law prohibits increasing or decreasing your pay during your term.

First, the council amended the resolution, making the effective date May 2015 and applying it to all aldermen. Then it rejected the pay cut and freeze, 8-5. Alderman Dawn Tenuta was absent.

Alderman Jim Volk then moved to eliminate pay for aldermen altogether; that lost, 11-2. The council then decided to send the compensation ordinance back to committee.

The ordinance also sets the pay of the city clerk.

Batavia needs to approve compensation at least 180 days before newly elected officials are sworn in.

Mayor Jeff Schielke, Clerk Heidi Weitzel and aldermen Michael O'Brien, Victor Dietz, Jim Volk, Janet Jungels, Eldon Frydendall, Robert Liva and Tenuta are up for election.

The pay cut was suggested by Volk, who is not on the government services committee.

"I guess people weren't overwhelmingly enthused about losing money," Volk said Wednesday. He promoted the cut and freeze as a symbolic gesture to show solidarity with city employees, who took pay cuts during and after the 2008 recession.

The committee meets at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Batavia Government Center, 100 N. Island Ave.

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