HAHIRA -- At Thursday's City Council meeting, the City of Hahira will consider the first elected officials' salary increase since 1991.
Mayor Myron Crowe proposed an elected official's average salary figure in the City Council work session Monday night that he and former City Manager Bonnie Tindall compiled by comparing 10 Georgia cities with equivalent populations.
The result -- a projected elected officials' salary increase of nearly 300 percent for each of the four City Council members and the mayor, which will be voted on during the 7:30 p.m. City Council meeting in the Hahira Courthouse. The meeting is open to the public.
Crowe currently receives $1,500 annual compensation for his duties as Hahira mayor, while each Council member receives $875.
While Crowe's proposal didn't list a specific figure, he did mention an average from looking at 10 specific Georgia cities' elected officials' compensation -- $2,470 for each council member and $4,890.90 for the mayor.
"I would think that was fair -- (to increase the salary) around that amount," Crowe said.
He also stated the salary increase might encourage more people to run for City Council.
Hahira studied the salaries of elected officials in Alamo, Colquitt, Dasher, Ellaville, Flowery Branch, Folkston, Gray, Lumpkin, Pembroke and Reidsville. While Hahira's 2002 population was 1,626, the 2002 populations of these cities ranged from 834 to 2,379.
However, all of these cities except Dasher are in the same population group under the Georgia Department of Community Affairs' 2002 Municipal Wage and Salary Survey. Dasher is in a population group with cities ranging from 500-1,000 people.
The salary increase can only occur during an election year when at least one Council member is coming up for election, Crowe said.
Recent discussions with elected officials during meetings in Savannah and Atlanta left Hahira City Council members embarrassed at what they were paid, said Councilman Marion "M.C." Nelson of District 4.
"It was insulting to us when council members from other towns said what they made," Nelson said. "I just tried to change the subject when they talked about it."
The last time City Council members voted to increase their salaries, pay went from $200 yearly per Council member to the current level.
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