A candidate for Pickerington city council is taking issue with how the city recently voted to more than triple the mayor's salary.
The raise would take Pickerington Mayor Lee A. Gray's salary from about $12,000 a year to more than $46,000. The measure was quickly approved by council and the usual three reading requirement was waived.
"I’m not against a pay increase for the mayor," says Kevin Kemper, a candidate for city council. "But again I think it needs to be done through the proper process. And citizens need to be able to have the information available to them to comment on it before any kind of vote like this is taken."
City council and the mayor did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
"Citizens really had no idea what was coming down the pipe," Kemper says, "except that there was going to be a vote to raise the mayor's pay."
The mayor's roles include supervising the city manager, presiding over city council meetings and he has the ability to veto all legislation passed by city council.
The $46,000 a year salary is much higher than some suburbs like Dublin, which only pays its mayor about $15,000 a year. It's still lower than others like Canal Winchester, which pays its mayor more than $95,000.