Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Will they or won’t they? The Rochester City Council is scheduled to vote Monday night one final time on approving significant and controversial salary increases.

Since the proposal first surfaced in November, councilmembers and Mayor Kim Norton have faced widespread criticism.

One council member who initially supported the increases later changed his mind. Shaun Palmer says his constituents are angry about the pay raises and he plans to vote against the proposal. Councilmember Patrick Keane was the only dissenter in the initial vote.

Under the proposal, pay for councilmembers would rise from $21,700 per year to just over $52,600. The salary for City Council President increase from $28,400 to $60,500 and the Mayor’s salary would increase from $37,600 to $78,800.

The higher salaries would also increase the city's contributions to retirement plans for the mayor and council.

Here is the resolution the council  will consider:

WHEREFORE: As the community's elected body, the City Council and Mayor are accountable to Rochester residents for policymaking and being stewards of public funds and assets to ensure Rochester is an economically sound and safe community with a high quality of life for the entire community. Elected officials invest countless hours preparing for City Council meetings and study sessions, representing the City in various regional and statewide organizations, meeting with constituents, and planning for a sustainable future. Rochester's elected officials are responsible to adopt the operating and capital improvement budgets, the Comprehensive Plan, Land Development Manual, among many other guiding
documents.
WHEREFORE: The City Council finds it is in the best interest of the City to have salaries for its elected officials that represent the amount of time and work put into serving the residents of Rochester. WHEREFORE: The City Council finds that the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) adjusted median income for Olmsted County to be a fair and accurate measure of
the median income in the community.

BE IT RESOLVED by the Common Council of the City of Rochester that beginning in the year 2020 the Mayor shall be paid 120% of the 2019 HUD AMI for a one-person household. The Council President shall be paid 92% of the 2019 HUD AMI for a one-person household. Each remaining Council Member shall be paid 80% of the 2019 HUD AMI for a one-person household.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Attorney shall prepare an Ordinance in the fall of each year setting the salaries of the Mayor, Council President and Council Members using the prior year HUD AMI for a one-person household. The Ordinance shall take effect on January 1 of each year.

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