His­tory of the mayor’s salary

The Times (Northeast Benton County) - - FRONT PAGE - ANNETTE BEARD abeard@nwadg.com

Pea Ridge Or­di­nance 513 re­quires the City Coun­cil to set the mayor’s salary for the com­ing term dur­ing the June or July meet­ing prior to the fil­ing pe­riod for the new term, ac­cord­ing to City Clerk Sandy But­ton, who presided over a por­tion of the June 19 City Coun­cil meet­ing.

The City Coun­cil sets the salary and coun­cil mem­bers have de­bated set­ting a base salary for the past few elec­tions say­ing that an in­ex­pe­ri­enced per­son should not earn the same as an ex­pe­ri­enced per­son.

Mayor Jackie Crab­tree, who has been in of­fice for 24 years, earns an an­nual salary of $50,000, ac­cord­ing to But­ton. That salary was set dur­ing the Dec. 29, 2014, City Coun­cil meet­ing after Crab­tree won re-elec­tion.

Crab­tree was first elected in 1994 and took of­fice in Jan­uary of 1995. The salary for the part-time po­si­tion was $250 a month.

In Septem­ber 2004, the po­si­tion be­came a full time po­si­tion and the salary was set at $36,000 by Or­di­nance 356. Ac­cord­ing to that or­di­nance, the coun­cil is to ad­just the pay on or be­fore its first reg­u­larly sched­uled meet­ing in De­cem­ber.

In De­cem­ber 2006, the coun­cil ap­proved Ord. 435 set­ting the salary at $38,674.44 an­nu­ally.

In a spe­cial meet­ing Dec. 30, 2008, the coun­cil amended the or­di­nance which sets the mayor’s salary and changed the date from De­cem­ber to Septem­ber.

In a Septem­ber 2010 City Coun­cil meet­ing, coun­cil mem­bers re­duced the mayor’s salary from $40,000 to $26,050 for the term which would be­gin Jan. 1, 2011.

In July 2014, the coun­cil agreed to set the base salary for mayor at $25,000 for the up­com­ing term. Mayor Crab­tree’s salary was $45,000 in 2014.

“It’s not re­ally fix­ing Jackie’s salary. It’s fix­ing the salary for the of­fice. It can be re-fixed in Jan­uary. It’s be­cause of the elec­tion. This is not giv­ing Jackie a raise,” Howard Slinkard, then city at­tor­ney, ex­plained to the City Coun­cil in 2014.

Ac­cord­ing to the mu­nic­i­pal code 2.24.05:“The City Coun­cil shall, on or be­fore its first reg­u­larly sched­uled met­ing in June in the year in which the term of the of­fice of Mayor ex­pires, re-fix the com­pen­sa­tion for the of­fice of Mayor for the suc­ceed­ing term of the of­fice. (Ord. No. 513, Sec. 1)”

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