Committee recommends pay increases for Naples mayor, council

NAPLES, Fla. A recommendation was made to double the salaries of the City Naples’ mayor and council members.

The City Council appointed a blue ribbon committee that met Friday to consider pay increases for the mayor, who makes $30,000 annually, and the council, whose members make $23,500 a year.

The committee made a recommendation to the council, which would then decide whether to approve a change.

City Manager Bill Moss argues the existing salaries make it prohibitive for the average citizen to hold a seat.

“The salary offered appears to be punitive for those who own a business, are employed, or do not have significant financial assets,” Moss said in a letter to the committee.

A raise would be in recognition of what are essentially full-time jobs. The mayor works more than 40 hours a week and council members average 32 a week.

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They attend council meetings, serve on other boards, attend conferences and trainings, work community events and speak with constituents daily, City Clerk Patricia L. Rambosk said in a memo sent to the committee. They also played a role in disaster response amid Hurricane Irma.

The committee voted 5 to 2 to recommend the mayor get $50,000 a year and city council members get $40,000 a year.

The committee is free to make any recommendation, including a pay cut, a city official said.

Leaders of other Southwest Florida cities also make modest salaries. The mayor of Cape Coral takes in $36,600 and the Fort Myers mayor makes $42,000.

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