Next Owenton mayor may see salary bump

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West says more money will make position more attractive to candidates

By Molly Haines

When the City of Owenton’s next mayor takes office in Jan. 2015, the seat could come with a $6,000 pay increase.
The Owenton City Council met for its regular meeting April 1, but the issue was discussed in closed session.
The issue of the mayor’s salary was originally on the council’s agenda to be discussed in open meeting during new business.
Owenton Mayor Doug West said the council went into executive session to discuss the mayor’s salary because it pertains to personnel.
Owenton City Attorney Mitzy Evans exited the meeting during executive session.
West said because Evans is not an elected official, unless the council needs to be advised legally, he didn’t want anyone in executive sessions but he and the council.
“I wanted to set the mayor’s salary at $35,000,” West said. “Because whoever the next mayor is, it needs to be someone who can be in there full time and make a living, unless it’s someone like me drawing Social Security or else it’ll be the same thing as in the past – they won’t be able to get anything done.”
Instead, West said the council decided on $18,000 a year and $300 a month for health benefits.
The current salary for the mayor was set in 2010 under then-mayor David “Milkweed” Wotier at $12,000.
West, who is seeking Democratic Party’s nomination for Owen County judge-executive said an ordinance regarding the mayor’s salary would be given a first reading during a special-called meeting in the near future.
The salary increase would not become effective until Jan. 2015.