GRANITE CITY — Elected officials’ salaries will stay the same for the next four-year terms of office after action by the City Council on Oct. 18.
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. After the April 4, 2017, election, the next term of office will begin May 1, 2017.
When the ordinance came up for a council vote Sept. 6, aldermen voted 7-3 against increasing the salaries for the treasurer, clerk and mayor. At the time, Mayor Ed Hagnauer cited the city’s tight finances and union negotiations next year as reasons for aldermen rejecting the ordinance.
This time, a unanimous vote means those three elected offices won’t get a raise through April 30, 2021. The three officials have not had raises since May 1, 2013. The clerk and treasurer’s salaries are $62,500 per year; the mayor’s is $69,500.
The city’s aldermen, who are elected in alternating two-year elections, also won’t see an increase in their annual salaries of $6,320 and $100 per month for expenses.
The austerity campaign extends to Granite City Township officials. The town board, which is composed of City Council members, voted to keep its own salaries at $20 per meeting and $75 per month for expenses, the clerk’s salary at $500 per year and $100 per month for expenses, the full-time assessor’s salary at $62,500 per year and $1,500 per year for expenses and the part-time supervisor’s salary at $31,250 per year and $1,500 per year for expenses.
Liquor license change
The council revised its liquor license ordinance to require that license holders be at least 100 feet from churches, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, facilities for veterans, homes for the indigent and military facilities. The distance rule doesn’t apply to holders of Class C and D licenses, such as restaurants and large retail establishments. Except for fraternal organizations, churches and restaurants, license holders must be at least 400 feet apart.
Hagnauer, who as mayor serves as the city’s liquor commissioner, said the city revised its ordinance based on a review of 8 other cities’ regulations.
He said some business owners have asked him why they’re denied a license while other establishments have been granted one. Because some of those licensing decisions go back decades, he often can’t explain why licenses were granted when the license holders’ locations don’t comply with the ordinance.
“There are liquor licenses that are grandfathered in, but I could never explain, the way the ordinance was, why certain establishments had liquor licenses,” he said. “I wanted the council to simplify it.”
The city has capped the number of Class A licenses for taverns at 23. Once the cap is reached, Hagnauer said the council will determine the issuance of additional Class A licenses on a case-by-case basis.