Danville mayor's position may go part-time, but pay still full-time

Danville mayor's position may go part-time, but pay still full-time

DANVILLE — Running for Danville mayor might become a lot more attractive next year if the elected office becomes a part-time position commanding a salary of $73,000.

That's what could happen if the city's 14 aldermen don't pass a resolution by October that would set two salaries — a lesser one for a part-time mayor and higher one for a full-time mayor.

It's a wrinkle in the Moving Danville Forward committee's drive to change Danville's current mayor-alderman form of government to a city-manager form. Under a city-manager form — which residents will vote on whether to institute in a Nov. 6 referendum — a public administrator, hired and fired by aldermen, will run the day-to-day operations of the city, and the mayor will become a part-time position that leads council meetings.

Currently, Mayor Scott Eisenhauer is a full-time mayor with a $73,000 annual salary and manages the city's day-to-day operations.

And by state law, the salary of the next mayor — who will be elected in April — must be set by aldermen 180 days prior to that person taking office.

In this case, that's by October.

If aldermen don't set two salaries now, anticipating the possible change in government, the full-time salary is what the next mayor will get paid, whether the gig ends up being full- or part-time.

Danville attorney Jim Mulvaney — a member of the grass-roots group Moving Danville Forward, which got the city manager proposal on the November ballot — spoke to aldermen at Tuesday night's city council meeting, encouraging them that now is the time not only to determine the appropriate pay for a part-time mayor, but also to discuss other aspects of what this change in government could bring. That includes establishing the qualifications for a city manager and determining how the search for a city manager would be conducted.

"It's a good discussion to have now," Mulvaney said.

None of the aldermen brought up the topic during the meeting.

Three of the 14 have publicly stated that they are against a change to the city manager form of government, including Alderman Lloyd Randle, Brenda Brown and Rickey Williams Jr., who released a public statement Wednesday in opposition to the city manager proposal.

"I vehemently oppose the attempt to change Danville's form of government," Williams said before detailing reasons why, including the city manager form is less democratic because it eliminates voters' ability to decide who runs Danville and is more costly, because the city must add a city manager's salary, which would likely be well over $100,000.

Eisenhauer, who is in his 16th year as mayor and has also publicly spoken out against the proposed change to a city manager, told aldermen that he is researching salaries of part-time mayors across Illinois in towns with city manager governments.

And based on that research, he will bring a proposal to aldermen at the Aug. 28 public services committee meeting to set both a part-time mayor's salary and a full-time mayor's salary, dependent on the outcome of the referendum.

Eisenhauer said Wednesday that he's still doing the research and does not yet know how much he will propose for part-time mayor's pay.

He said he contacted the Moving Danville Forward committee to ask if it had a proposal for a part-time mayor's salary, but the group did not.

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