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Proposal to delay future Rochester council pay increases pulled

Charter Commission takes no action on recommendation made in March.

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A proposal to change how future Rochester City Council pay raises are enacted was dropped Tuesday.

“I am not going to request a vote at this time,” Rochester Charter Commission member Bari Amadio said of her proposal to require the council to wait until after a new election to receive an approved pay increase.

RELATED: Should Rochester council salary practices be tweaked?

Amadio said her recommendation was made in response to the council’s 2020 pay increases.

“It was upsetting to many people,” she said.

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The council approved salary adjustments last year, which increased the mayor’s salary from $37,657 to $65,700, the council president’s pay from $27,743 to $47,300, and council members’ salaries from $21,712 to $39,420.


What happened: The Rochester Charter Commission opted not to consider a proposal for how city elected officials’ pay raises are implemented.

Why does this matter: A proposal to delay implementation was recommended during a March meeting of the commission.

What's next: No other action is expected, but commission member Bari Amadio said she may raise the subject again in the future.


Under the city’s home-rule charter, which guides many aspects of city government, such salary increases land in the elected officials’ paychecks after an ordinance reflecting the change is published, which can be done shortly after final approval.

Amadio said voters have started paying more attention to council activity since the raises were enacted, which has resulted in greater transparency for the elected officials.

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“I think it was a problem in its time,” she said.

Under her proposal, the council would have been required to wait to receive increases until after an election is held, which would have delayed the 2020 raises by at least nine months.

Charter commission members raised questions in March, pointing out the city’s election cycle divides when council members are elected, with three members of the six ward representatives and the mayor elected a single year and the other three and council president set for the ballot two years later. The proposed change would have created pay differences for half the council members.

“If we say after the next election, we are still only going to have part of the city council affected by this particular change,” commission member Kathy Meyerle said in March.

Citing the input from the earlier meeting, Amadio said she wanted to take the proposal off the table, but would consider bringing it up again.

Randy Petersen joined the Post Bulletin in 2014 and became the local government reporter in 2017. An Elkton native, he's worked for a variety of Midwest papers as reporter, photographer and editor since graduating from Winona State University in 1996. Readers can reach Randy at 507-285-7709 or rpetersen@postbulletin.com.
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