2.5% pay hike proposed for Detroit elected officials

Nicquel Terry
The Detroit News

Detroit — The city’s compensation commission has recommended a 2.5 percent pay increase for Detroit’s top elected officials, falling in line with the same raise city employees are set to receive for the next two years.

The commission approved the pay hike Friday for the mayor, city council and city clerk offices. The raise will take effect on July 1 if the City Council decides not to reject it.

The compensation commission’s decision essentially denies a request from Clerk Janice Winfrey for a $20,000 pay raise. Winfrey cited added responsibility for wanting a salary comparable to other Michigan clerks in similar-sized cities with smaller budgets.

The commission did not discuss Winfrey’s written request during its meeting Friday. Winfrey couldn’t be immediately reached for comment Friday evening.

Commission Chairman Isaiah “Ike” McKinnon said after the meeting that Winfrey was the only official to submit a proposal for a salary hike.

McKinnon said he believed the $20,000 was “a little too much.”

“The facts are here in Detroit, we have gone through this horrible period of reduction, and now we’ve gotta rebuild,” McKinnon said, referring to the bankruptcy filing in 2013 and 10 percent employee wage reductions in 2010. “To me it would be unfair to give anyone a raise that is above that (2.5 percent).”

Councilman Scott Benson said Friday the commission’s pay raise recommendation was fair.

“We have to ensure that we are being responsible when it comes to our finances,” Benson said in a phone interview. “That’s what the city has planned for, and it’s what’s in our budget. So it’s showing fiscal discipline.”

General and city union employees receive an annual 2.5 percent wage increase as part of Detroit’s four-year budget plan through 2019.

The raise approved Friday would bump Mayor Mike Duggan’s current $166,500 salary to $170,663 in 2018 and $174,930 in 2019.

Council President Brenda Jones’ salary would jump from the current $82,776 to $84,845 in 2018 and $86,966 in 2019.

Council members and Winfrey’s salaries of $78,761 would increase to $80,730 in 2018 and $82,748 in 2019.

“We think what the elected officials compensation commission did was fair,” said Alexis Wiley, Duggan’s chief of staff. “Elected officials should get the same increase as our hard-working civilian employees receive. We support the commission’s decision.”

The compensation commission meets in odd years to evaluate the salaries of Detroit’s elected officials.

On Friday, the commission set its next meeting for Oct. 1, 2019.


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Twitter: @NicquelTerry