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Pineville Councilman Martin Responds I've been out of town leading worship at a youth conference in Arkansas for over a week so I have a lot of catching up to do both in real life and in reading Lamar’s blog. Let me see if I can address some of the points made here. "We saw that", you commented about the additional 1.3 million in tax revenues and suggested it be put up for a rainy day (my paraphrase.) This additional money is from the 1/2-cent tax that is designated: 70% to employee pay and benefits and 30% to capital improvements. We gave a raise to the employees after the tax was passed, about a month or two before we started collecting it. Our amended 2005-2006 fiscal budget reflects that. So the 70% is going exactly as we promised the citizens. The 30% that goes to capital improvements is currently not being spent as we continue planning for a bond issue to do significant infrastructure improvements. (Elevated water tank, new water wells, new fire station, etc.) I hope we can turn that 30% (roughly 400,000/year) into some big projects that will help meet Pineville’s needs well into the future. Hopefully that answers that point. (But I'll be glad to provide further info or clarification if needed.) You also spoke of "the city councilmen who make $700.00 a month want to give the mayor what amounts to an extra $1,000.00 a month." Let me address this. The article and references to it are the first time I've heard of any discussion of pay raises for the council and mayor. It has not been discussed among the council members or with the mayor, as far as I know. This was a surprise to me. Remember, the article does not reflect action taken by the council, simply comment made at the finance committee meeting by a councilman and a committee member. So it’s far from a done deal. I was not on the council when the last pay raise was voted on (November, 2002) and I appreciate geoff's comment that one pay raise in 4 years is "pretty conservative". But as I expressed to the mayor this morning, I am not in favor of a pay raise for the council at this time. My personal opinion is that salary matters should be handled later in the 4 year term, closer to reelection time, preferably timed to take effect with the new term. As for the mayor's salary, I do think it should be reviewed on a regular basis. As I recall, the recommendation from the committee back in 2002 was for the mayor to make around $70,000 which Mayor Fields turned down. Now four years later, according to the article he is eligible for a salary increase to $61,000. I think Pineville has come a long ways in the past 4 years. The Council position is a part-time position and the pay is reflective of that. The Mayor's position is a full-time position and his pay should reflect the responsibility of overseeing 250+ employees and a multi-million dollar budget. I would be in favor of surveying the salaries of mayors from similarly-sized cities to get an accurate view of what the salary should be. But I am opposed to a salary increase for the council at this time. I don’t know if I’ve answered all the questions but hopefully I’ve addressed the major points. If not, let me know. Now back to catching up from being away for a week. Sincerely, Nathan