Mayor, marshal compensation proposal tabled

Roxie Murphy
Voters will chose between elected, appointed lawman

BLAND — Bland aldermen on Monday tabled for a second time a proposed ordinance setting mayoral and marshal compensation after meeting attendants expressed views that a mayor should be an unpaid civic leader.

Matt Dittman, former alderman and mayor pro tem, said he felt the mayor’s position was elected to be in charge of the board and doing civic duty. 

“I was never in agreement with any payment,” Dittman said.

Compensation for the mayor would have included $100 for up to 31 hours of work a month and $150 for more than 70 hours of work a month. Work does not include court or city meeting time.

Ron Shafferkoetter, former mayor, also said he had planned to do away with the mayor’s pay before the next election.

“The revenues coming in to the city are reducing, and I felt that the $100 could be spent better than on the mayor,” Shafferkoetter said. “To me, in a small community, it is more dedication than working for monetary compensation.”

Shafferkoetter felt the condition of the city and the cost of operating going up each year, the pay for mayor should be eliminated. “That is just my opinion and it is what I was going to suggest to the board,” Shafferkoetter said.

The marshal’s monthly compensation was not contested. All hours exclude meeting and court attendance. For one to 31 hours, $150; 31 to 60 hours, $275; 61 to 120 hours, $400; and 120 hours, $525. 

Aldermen Josh Jarvis, Jim Carpenter and Mayor Pro Tem Rodney Lexa voted 3-0 to table the bill, presented as No. 2017-10.

Bill No. 2017-12, a proposal for holding an election to change the marshal’s position from appointed to an elected one, was also discussed. 

Shafferkoetter said he felt the marshal’s position should be appointed. 

“Times have changed, and we don’t have many to choose from that are qualified in the position,” Shafferkoetter said. “In fact, if Tom (Dodson) chooses not to run, I think there is only one in town that qualifies.”

Dittman asked about when the changes could be made to the marshal’s compensation and the board said it could not take effect until next term — after the April 2018 election.

Shafferkoetter said there are pros and cons to the election, but the city is not going to be able to replenish from within, so they are going to have to go outside the city limits. That would require an appointed position.

Aldermen voted 3-0 to put the measure on the April ballot. City Clerk Rachel Anderson reminded everyone that the citizens could vote the measure down.

Ordinance No. 2017-11 was approved on a 3-0 vote setting the opening and closing dates for the 2018 elections. For municipal offices, filing opens Dec. 12, 2017, at 8 a.m. and closes Jan. 16, 2018, at 5 p.m. for the April 3, 2018, elections.