JENNINGS, Mo. – The Jennings City Council recently passed a measure giving raises to council members and the mayor.
The city is facing the possibility of a Missouri state auditor over spending. Jennings residents, aided by allies on the city council, succeeded in gathering 800 signatures to bring in the state auditor.
The names will be verified by elections officials to ensure they have enough. But in the meantime, council members will now be paid $9,600 per year, while the mayor receives a 20% raise, going from $25,000 to $30,000.
The raises will take effect in their next terms.
Terry Burford, one of the citizens who collected signatures requesting an audit, opposes the raises.
“I disagree with it right now,” she said. “I think no one should be getting a raise at this time, until we can get the progress done to the dilapidated homes, and the street work, and everything else we need in Jennings.”
Jennings Councilman Gary Johnson, who was elected Tuesday to be the city’s next mayor, is spearheading the audit drive, and is also dead set against the raises.
“I voted against the raise. I don’t believe, at this point, we haven’t done significant work to ask for a raise,” he said. “I think some of the positions in the building department and within the public works deserve a raise.”
To put the mayor’s new salary in perspective, we looked up the salaries or compensation for other mayors in the area.
- Mayor of Ballwin (pop. 31,313) – paid $10,800
- Mayor of Chesterfield (pop. 50,755) – paid $12,000
- Mayor of Clayton (pop. 17,781) – paid $9,000
- Mayor of Hazelwood (pop. 25,386) – paid $7,200
- Mayor of O’Fallon (pop. 94,913) – paid $24,000
- Mayor of Webster Groves (pop. 23,770) – paid 650
FOX 2 reporter Elliott Davis went to Jennings City Hall to get comment from Jennings Mayor Yolanda Austin, but got nowhere. He also emailed the mayor, but did not hear back from her.