Juneau Council Splits Pay Hike Vote

7/12/17 – Elected officials in Juneau approved a pay raise for themselves last night that will bring their yearly base salary up to what it had been in 2012 when a pay cut went into effect. The decrease was originally put in place during the recession seven years ago as departments experienced a 12-percent cut and wages were frozen. Last night’s action restores the yearly pay for alderpersons from $1000 to $1200 and for the mayor from $5000 to $6000. Utility Commission members will also see their annual pay rise from $900 to $1000. The increase is effective with the April 2018 election. The vote was four-to-two. Alderman Daniel Schamberger, who opposed the hike, clashed with Alderman Jason Buske who supported restoring the compensation. Schamberger said that elected officials are not in it for the money and the funds would be better directed to parks or the library. Buske says it is already difficult to find quality candidates to run for office in Juneau and the new salary will be an incentive. A subsequent vote to increase the per meeting stipend failed three-to-four with the mayor casting the tie-breaking vote against the increase. That resolution would have increased meeting pay from $25 to $40. In 2012, the per meeting stipend was reduced by $5 to $20 but that decrease was restored by council action in 2013.