Warren elected officials receive 14 percent pay raise

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Warren city officials have received 14 percent pay increases, their first raise in 16 years, according to the city’s compensation commission.

The increase took effect this month for the city’s 10 elected officials, said Ronald Papandrea, chairman of the Warren Elected Officials Compensation Commission.

The move makes Mayor Jim Fouts the highest paid official in the city, Papandrea said. That spot previously was held by the police commissioner.

“It was the feeling of the commission that the mayor, as chief executive of the city, should be the highest employee of the city,” Papandrea said. The mayor-appointed commission met twice last month to discuss salaries.

Fouts’ salary increased from $110,212 to $125,642 annually. The raise places Fouts’ compensation under Warren’s strong-mayor form of government closer to the city manager’s salary of $153,717 in neighboring Sterling Heights, Papandrea said.

Warren has a population of nearly 133,000 while Sterling Heights has a population of 131,000, according to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.

Fouts was first elected mayor in 2007. He has never received a raise in his three terms.

Nine other elected officials also received 14 percent pay increases. City Clerk Paul Wojno and Treasurer Lorie Barnwell each saw their pay rise from $81,511 to $92,923.

Pay for the seven City Council members increased from $27,554 to $31,412, Papandrea said.

Council President Cecil St. Pierre Jr. said neither he nor his colleagues asked for salary increases. He said the council did not oppose the increase when it appeared on the agenda at a Dec. 15 meeting. “If you don’t oppose, it becomes law,” he said.

St. Pierre, an attorney in private practice, said making Fouts the highest paid official in the city “is proper.”

Fouts did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

The last pay increase for Warren officials was Jan. 1, 2000.

cwilliams@detroitnews.com

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