Mendota Council Passes on Pay, Again
Council members say the time commitment is nominal.
The Mendota City Council voted once again to forgo payment as council members for the next 12 months. The decision was made official at their meeting Tuesday night at the Mendota VFW.
In 2010, council members received a stipend of $1,000 a year.
The cut is a cost saving measure for the small city.
The council is expected to revisit the city's budget in December. They set the preliminary levy for 2012 in September to remain at 2011 levels but did not pass a balanced budget.
City Clerk Jennifer Bruestle said that the city's reserves will likely be used to cover the $13,000 shortfall.
Mayor Brian Mielke elaborated that the city expects a balance at the end of the year due in part to gambling revenue, fees and Local Government Aid the city received in 2011 that had not been anticipated.
As for their compensation, council members said the gig requires no more than a few extra hours a month beyond the council meetings held the second Tuesday.
“I mean what can you do? We don’t really have money to pay,” said council member Josh Lee. “I think we’re all at an understanding that as far as coming to meetings, it’s only a couple hours each month. As far as time on the side, a lot of times you don’t even feel like you’re doing any work … Just like a normal neighborhood would, people are concerned and talk, and it just happens that we’re also doing that at council meetings.”
Mayor Brian Mielke said that most of his time for the city is spent in various meetings such as with engineers for the D Street road project and the Department of Natural Resources. “It adds up.”