STARKVILLE — Starkville aldermen have voted to move up a pending pay raise for themselves and Mayor Parker Wiseman by a year.
The action came Tuesday on a 5-2 vote by the board of aldermen.
The pay raise is a $3,000 increase to $15,000 annually for aldermen and an $11,500 raise to $71,500 annually for the mayor. It had been scheduled to begin Oct. 1, 2014. It will now take effect Oct. 1 this year.
The raise was enacted earlier this year over a veto by Wiseman and before the present board was elected in June.
Alderman David Little, who voted against the moving up the raise, said it was odd timing to move up the increase’s start by a year while the board was enacting the city’s first substantial property tax increase in the past four years.
“We don’t do this for the money. If we did, the salary would be a whole lot more than it is. There are a lot of outside demands,” Little told The Commercial Dispatch after the vote.
The new Starkville budget that takes effect Oct. 1 includes a 1.98-mill property tax increase.
Alderman Ray A. Perkins, the longest-tenured board member, said pay increases for the city’s elected positions have come few and far between in his career.
“The last time the board received a raise was 2005. These things don’t come every other year. I supported it then, and I support it now. I think this is not a bad thing to do,” Perkins said.