Lynchburg Council Signs Off On Pay Raises For Themselves

Lynchburg, VA - Tuesday night, Lynchburg City Council members approved a $2,000 pay raise for themselves. It was a part of a greater, $193 million general fund budget. Council members' jobs are not done for free. The pay is minimal and for years, it has been less than what law requires. "It's approximately a little over a $2,000 I think, per council member which includes the Mayor" said Councilman Turner Perrow. The budget approval will take the annual salary for every council member from $8,000 to $10,000 per year, $12,000 for the Mayor. "This year the City Manager told us that he was going to put that back in the budget because we weren't keeping up with our own code" said Perrow. Currently, council members are not making enough to abide by city law. Years ago, when times were tight and budget cuts were the norm, council agreed to cut their own pay, putting it $2,000 below the city's required amount. "Frankly, none of us do this for the salary. I use it as a stipend to cover my expenses coming back in to town for meetings as well as donating to charitable causes" said Perrow. When some Lynchburg residents were told that their city reps would be receiving a pay raise, "I'm glad they're being rewarded for a job well done" some thought one was long overdue. "Clearly, this is more than a part time job, which is what they're getting paid for" said one woman. "They deserve a pay raise I think because they really work at it" said another. Tuesday's vote passed six to one. Council member Jeff Helgeson was the only dissenting vote against the general fund budget. The budget also includes a 2% raise for all city employees and school staff.