Plan for council president’s 500 percent pay raise moves forward

Council president would make half of mayor's salary under proposal
Plan for council president’s 500 percent pay raise moves forward

A Madison alderman’s plan to increase the Madison Common Council president’s pay by 500 percent moved on to committee Tuesday night.

The council president makes a little more than $10,000 a year now, and this proposal would increase the president’s pay to about $63,000 a year.

Alderman Mark Clear is behind the proposal. Although he’s a former council president, he said he’s not trying to line his own pockets and has no plans to be council president again.

Clear said the current low pay has Madison operating like it’s 50 years ago. He said city issues these days require full-time attention, so it makes sense to have the council president be paid like it’s a full-time job.

“Well, there’s lots of things we can’t do, and it comes out in things like not being able to return all the calls and emails we get, not being able to provide the level of service we might like to, not being able to study issues as deeply and as extensively as we might like to, to really understand them,” Clear said.

Clear’s proposal would make the council president’s salary half of the mayor’s, which is about $125,000 a year.

Shiva Bidar-Sielaff is the council president, and her term would end before any of this would take place.

Alderman Chris Schmidt is council president pro tem, and tradition would make him president next year.

The proposal only moved on to committee Tuesday. It could come back to the Madison Common Council next month.