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Letter to the Editor: Raising elected officials’ pay in Ballwin

To the Editor:

I am asking my fellow Ballwin residents for help with a difficult issue – deciding whether, and how, to adjust the salaries of elected officials. At our most recent meeting on Jan. 14, the Board of Aldermen decided to begin to address this issue, which has been avoided for many years – at least 28 – the last ordinance on this was from 1991.

I want to be up front with you and know that this issue will be discussed, and voted upon, at our upcoming meeting on  Jan. 28.

I do not want anyone to feel like we tried to “sneak one by you,” and I think my colleagues feel the same.

The current salary of a Ballwin alderman is $4,200 per year.

The mayor has much more responsibility than the aldermen. His current salary is $8,400 per year.

I have found all of the individuals with whom I have worked as elected officials, during my time in office, to be very giving of their time in taking on this public service. They do not expect much, if anything, in return. Nevertheless, as you can tell from what I shared, significant time goes into these jobs, and officials should receive some compensation.

This is a sensitive issue and I hope you can provide us help.

No matter what we decide on this issue, I propose creating a volunteer citizens commission which could meet every 8-10 years to discuss this and give feedback to the board.

We think it is appropriate to raise the salaries for Ballwin to $5,400 for the aldermen and $10,800 for the mayor. I, for one, think you will agree with us, but I could be wrong.

I would like to know if you agree with the numbers we arrived at and invite you to contact me with your thoughts. Please email me at mfinley@ballwin.mo.us

Also, if you would like to share your thoughts publicly, please come to our meeting on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. and speak during Citizens’ Comments at the beginning of the meeting.

Thank you for reading and for your anticipated feedback and dialogue.

Michael Finley

Alderman, Ward 1

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