GRANITE CITY — By a margin of 7-3, the City Council on Sept. 6 rejected an ordinance increasing elected officials’ salaries.
Under a state law, the Local Government Officer Compensation Act, local governments are required to fix elected officials’ salaries at least 180 days before the term of office begins.
According to the ordinance, the treasurer, city clerk and mayor have not received a salary increase since May 1, 2013. The ordinance calls for the following increases:
• Treasurer and clerk: An additional $2,000 per year to $64,500
• Mayor: An additional $2,000 per year to $71,500
The salary changes would start May 1, 2017, and end April 30, 2021. The next municipal election will be April 4, 2017.
Aldermen Bill Davis (4th Ward), Paul Jackstadt (4th Ward) and Ron Simpson (5th Ward) voted to approve the ordinance; aldermen Gerald Williams (1st Ward), Bob Pickerell (1st Ward), Nikki Petrillo (2nd Ward), Walter Schmidtke (2nd Ward), Tim Elliot (3rd Ward), Dan McDowell (3rd Ward) and Don Thompson (5th Ward) voted against it. Simpson chairs the Finance Committee, which brought the ordinance to the full council.
After the meeting, Mayor Ed Hagnauer said city attorney Brian Konzen is reviewing the ordinance to determine the city’s next step.
“The city’s not in a position right now to be giving raises,” Hagnauer said. The next mayor and council will have to negotiate salaries with five unions next year, he said.
In the salary-setting ordinance passed Oct. 21, 2008, the three positions received annual increases of approximately 4 percent from 2009 to 2013. The ordinance passed Oct. 2, 2012, kept their salaries the same through April 30, 2017.
In other action:
• The council approved an ordinance that lets police officers decide whether to issue an alternative ticket for possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana. Under the city’s alternative ticket ordinance, first-time offenders of ordinance violations are required to pay a minimum $15 fine within 10 days. If they don’t pay the fine within 10 days, the amount progressively increases until the 30th day, after which the city files a complaint in circuit court.
Konzen said officers can choose to issue an alternative ticket or pursue a charge under an amended state law. On July 29, Illinois made possession of 10 grams or less a civil violation, punishable by a fine of $100 to $200. In doing so, Illinois joined 21 other states in decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.
“The Granite City Police Department responded to that change ... by asking for the ordinance to be changed so that we too, as a city, could treat less than 10 grams possession as an administrative ticket,” Konzen said.
• The council accepted a retirement letter effective Sept. 2 from Patrolman Daryl May, who taught the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, gave community presentations, served as a detective in the Domestic Violence Unit and worked on the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis, among other duties.
“I have worked with a great group of men and women and they have taught me many things about law enforcement and about life in general,” May wrote in the letter.
“All the time I was on the police department, I never heard a bad thing about Daryl,” Hagnauer said. “I think he was one of the original Officer Friendlies.”