Incoming Birmingham City Council set to make $37K - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

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Incoming Birmingham City Council set to make $37K

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Birmingham City Councilor Kim Rafferty may be on her way out, but a piece of legislation she helped draft will impact councilors for years to come.

"Whether I'm in office or not doesn't matter. What matters is that something was done that shouldn't have been done and it needed to be corrected and it needed to be corrected the right way so It can never happen again," she said.

And what was done wrong? Rafferty says the council’s attempt to get paid $50,000. She initially voted for the increase but changed her mind. She said the council is due a raise, but not to the magnitude others were seeking.

“Because of the disconnect between the administration over the years, there's been more and more burdens put on councilors to resolve administrative issues on behalf of constituents, so it does become more of a full-time position,”  she explained.

A state code now ties the city councilor’s pay raise into the city’s median household income. Councilors who won their re-election will see their salary go from $15,000 to $37,000.

“It inspires the council to work harder, hopefully, and not just sit there and collect a paycheck and collect the benefits of the office, “said  Rafferty

As it is now, the council has a $15,000 salary, plus a $10,000 per year stipend for expenses. Under this law, councilors will lose that stipend. 

For newcomers to the council, like Darrell O'Quinn, they're just grateful their getting paid for their public service.

“The previous level of compensation was low by most people standards. I think it was fair to have a discussion about it,” he said.

O'Quinn was newly elected to District 5. He said there should be some modification

“I thought they should have went a step further and made the adjustments yearly instead of once every four years so that it provides an incentive to the councilors to actually raise the median household income of our citizens,“ O'Quinn said.

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