Danville to take up question of 2 mayor salaries

Danville to take up question of 2 mayor salaries

DANVILLE — Up for discussion this week in Danville: mayor salaries.

Not one salary, but two.

By the end of October, aldermen must set multiple salaries for whoever is elected mayor next spring, given the uncertainty over whether the non-partisan elected office will be a part-time or full-time job.

That depends on voters' preference — in a Nov. 6 referendum, they'll choose whether or not they want to switch from the current mayor-aldermanic form of government to a city manager form that will retain the aldermanic structure but reduce the mayor to a part-time elected official.

Aldermen can't wait for the outcome of the referendum to set the mayor's pay, because state law requires elected officials' salaries to be set at least 180 days prior to being voted in.

So Tuesday night, Mayor Scott Eisenhauer will present to the city council's public services committee the results of a survey of mayor salaries in 13 other Illinois cities, including Champaign and Urbana, to help jump-start the discussion.

In determining what cities to use in his research, Eisenhauer said he chose the 13 that a union arbitrator deemed comparable to Danville in recent arbitration. He is also providing salaries from several other municipalities, including salaries of city managers and full-time mayors.

Among his findings:

— The part-time mayor salaries in the 13 "comparable cities" range from $9,000 in Carbondale to $35,000 in Champaign.

— The city manager/administrator salaries in nine of those 13 range from $130,000 in Freeport to $198,000 in Champaign, Eisenhauer said.

— In the four towns that still have full-time mayors, salaries range from $69,000 in Urbana to $99,000 in Quincy, he added.

"So we will see what happens," Eisenhauer said.

If aldermen take no action between now and the end of October, then the current $73,000 annual salary of the mayor will stand, whether the position stays full time or switches to part time.

The proposed change in government didn't originate with city administrators or aldermen, but from a grassroots effort among a committee of citizens called Moving Danville Forward.

Three aldermen — Lloyd Randle, Brenda Brown and Rickey Williams Jr. — have joined Eisenhauer in publicly stating they're against the group's push to switch to a city manager. And Eisenhauer has said he won't run next spring if the position is part time.

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