Roanoke City Councilman Sherman Lea has changed course on council member pay raises, apparently dooming the proposed 28.5% hike. Up until now, Lea had supported raising City Council members’ pay from $15,560 dollars a year to $20,000 and the mayor’s from $20,000 to $23,000, effective July of next year. But in an e-mailed statement Tuesday, Lea says he now supports an 8% increase — meaning there is no longer a four-vote majority for the higher amount. Lea also calls upon Council to put a more transparent process in place in considering future pay hikes for its members. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.
(Continue reading for Lea’s full statement.)
You are aware that local governments have many moving parts and important issues can sometimes change after discussion. I have always thought of myself as a good leader in our community. The citizens have trusted me to serve by giving me their vote on three different occasions. With this in mind, I have assessed the public’s reaction to our deliberations and have decided to support an 8% salary increase. This is done out of respect for not only our city employees, but also for our citizens in the community.
In the future, as we proceed with various discussions at either a workshop or retreat, I feel there needs to be a process in place for council to consider pay increases that is transparent and in line with future city employee raises.
I am sharing this with each of you to make my position clear and to move forward with the business of the city. I feel that this council has accomplished some tremendous things over the last four years and I appreciate working with each of you.
Sherman P. Lea
Roanoke City Council