(Michigan City, IN) - A close to 50-percent increase in pay is being sought for the mayor in Michigan City.
A similar rise in salary is also requested for members of his administration. However, the odds of such hefty pay hikes being approved seem like a longshot judging by the early reaction from several city council members.
If approved, the salary for mayor would go up from about $80,000 to more than $118,000 annually.
Councilman Don Pryzbylinski said other proposed salary hikes like the one sought for the administrative assistant to the mayor are also concerning. Pay for that position would go from $50,000 to $75,000.
“That’s as much as the chief of police makes or the fire chief makes,” Pryzbylinski explained.
The salary hike request comes several months after the city council asked Mayor Duane Parry to resign.
The council deemed Parry unfit to hold office in response to his recorded remarks labeling African American clergy members as attention-seeking “black guys.”
Councilman Sean Fitzpatrick, a Black council member, said he still has no confidence in Parry’s ability to lead the city.
“I would never, never support an increase like this for him,” Fitzpatrick said.
Pryzbylinski also questioned whether Parry had done a good enough job to earn such a hefty pay increase. He also felt such a wage would be way out of line, considering most residents make far less.
“50-percent of the citizens that live here are either at or below the poverty level," Pryzbylinski said.
Fitzpatrick said the pay hike request for mayor and other positions in the city reflects the figures contained in a study of salaries in other municipalities.
No action was taken on the salary increase proposals. A vote by the council could be brought before the end of October.