Greenville City Council one step away from pay raise

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Photo by Justin Grimes | Flickr Creative Commons

Greenville City Council members are one step away from a pay raise.

Council members on Monday gave initial approval to increasing City Council salaries to $15,000 a year and the mayor’s salary to $24,000.

If given final approval at council’s formal meeting on Oct. 23, the pay raise will take effect in December as state law calls for council pay increases to become effective after a general election in which at least two members are elected.

Two council seats are up for election next month – an at-large seat now held by Gaye Sprague and District 2, which pits incumbent Democrat Lillian Brock Flemming against challenger Matt Cotner. Republican John DeWorken and Democrat Russell Stall are vying for the at-large seat.

Greenville City Council members currently are paid $11,772.80 a year, the lowest among South Carolina cities with populations of more than 40,000 people, according to the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s 2017 Annual Compensation Report. The pay does not include benefits such as state retirement and insurance. Greenville’s mayor currently makes $19,074.

The last time council pay increase came in 1993.

“In the past, I voted against council salary increases, but it’s been 25 years,” Councilwoman Lillian Brock Flemming said prior to voting yes. Jil Littlejohn, George Fletcher, and Mayor Knox White also voted yes. Council members Amy Ryberg Doyle, David Sudduth, and Gaye Sprague did not attend the meeting.

Littlejohn brought up the subject of council pay at a work session last month. At that meeting, she said she’d like to bring salaries up to those in Rock Hill, a city that is comparable to Greenville in payroll and full-time employees. Rock Hill pays its council members $16,819 and its mayor $26,416.

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