Ship Bottom Officials OK Pay Raises for Council, Ending 5-Year Debate

Dec 06, 2017

Ship Bottom Mayor William Huelsenbeck agreed last week to the repeal of a five-year moratorium on salary increases for himself and the borough council. Although the debate he anticipated didn’t occur, he noted he had made a commitment earlier this year to consider raises for the six-member council and himself.

Councilman Tom Tallon spearheaded the discussion to give elected officials a $1,000 raise.

“I don’t think anyone should begrudge us this,” Tallon said during the council’s Nov. 28 regular meeting. He cited changes to state healthcare, and the amount of hours the council puts in as reasons for the increase.

Huelsenbeck said he did oppose council raises for a long time.“It’s not that we didn’t deserve them,” he said, noting the contributing number of hours from current council members is “pretty good now.”

Unfortunately, he said, it wasn’t always that way.

“There is a lot of effort being put in,” he said, “and we’re still the second lowest on the Island.”

Tallon said when the math is all said and done, council members currently receive a stipend of about $9 an hour for the work they do. The $1,000 raise brings that total to about $11, he said.

Under the resolution, which was unanimously approved, the mayor’s compensation is $7,000 and the council members will receive $6,000 each. The raise is retroactive to Jan. 1 of this year, according to the resolution. —G.G.S.

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