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Westover Council approves increase in mayoral salary

At Westover City Council’s last meeting in November, an ordinance amending the mayor’s salary was laid before council and met with lengthy discussion among council members.

As previously reported, it was proposed the mayor’s starting salary would be $30,000, and with each two-year term would increase $5,000 until capping at $60,000 during the seventh term.

“We got a consensus of the people that participated in council that $55,000 is what the number is going to be on this ordinance for the mayor’s salary,” Mayor Dave Johnson said.

When Johnson took office on July 1, 2008, his salary was $25,000. According to the current code, Johnson’s salary is $45,000 annually. It also states the annual salary of the mayor shall remain at this amount until a change is made by council in accordance with provisions from the charter.

The change in salary will take effect starting the term of July 2020. With councilor Al Yocum absent, all present councilors voted yes, including Johnson. The ordinance will need to pass through one more reading at the final meeting of council for the year, but cannot be amended any further, as reported by City Attorney Tim Stranko during council’s meeting Nov. 18.

Additionally, Johnson reported the wiring and heating were being installed on the new police annex.

“We’ve got some different materials that we’re going to look at this week for the front, around the side and the back of the building so it’s actually moving pretty good now,” Johnson said.

In other police news, Chief of Police Richard Panico distributed a report to council that broke down calls that either police received or sent transmission to 911. He reported there were 101 traffic stops within the last two weeks.

“We’re still trying to figure out how to break it down for citations and warnings to let council know — but we’ve actually stopped, interdicted and ran licenses on 101 different vehicles over the course of two weeks,” he said.

He said at least 40 of the traffic stops were simply given warnings and were not cited.

Also reported to council Monday night, Director of Public Works Jason Stinespring said today crews would put up a Christmas tree and soon Christmas banners would be hung throughout the city, as well as other Christmas lighting.

“Hopefully we’ll have a lit up town here soon,” he said.

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