Government, Latest News, Westover Council

City votes to increase mayor’s salary

Westover Council went through the final reading of the adoption of the change to the mayor’s salary Monday night.

The change would make the mayor’s salary $55,000 annually, which differs from the initial proposed salary.

 What council was first presented with was a $30,000 salary that would increase by $5,000 after each two-year term and cap at $60,000. Several members of council did not like the idea of the scale pay and were asked in November to come up with something they could agree on.

Councilor Ralph Mullins did bring a concern to council on the change of salary. According to the city’s current charter, if a raise is given to city councilors or the mayor the change has to be adopted six months before the election is held.

“We’re adopting this motion tonight which is Dec. 16. The election is June the 6,” said Mullins.

Mullins is not against giving the raise to the office of mayor, but given the way the charter is written council is a week short of six months. City Attorney Tim Stranko said he would look into it.  All voted in favor of the increase.

Mayor Dave Johnson said every 10 years the city has to do a boundary adjustment for the wards of the city. Wards shall not differ in population by more than 10% of the voters in the smallest ward created, as it reads in the city’s charter.  He anticipates a population increase in the third ward within the next six months, he said.

“If we have that it would be null and void — it wouldn’t be null and void it would be a waste of time to do it now when we’d get 400 or 500 people,” he said.

He said because of that it would have to be changed again. Council did have to vote on the ordinance Monday, and voted yes unanimously.

Director of Public Works Jason Stinespring reported to council that he visited the site where a Rural King will be opening in the city. He said it was coming along and the interior is nearly done.

“That one will also be another big one for Westover. I think Rural King will absolutely kill in this area. They’re very nice stores,” he said.

Stinespring also said AMC Theaters at the Morgantown Mall is going through a major remodel, including to the theaters and snack bar. He said February is when that project should be finished. He also said Dunham’s has start its remodel of the old Elder-Beerman location and are shooting for a spring opening.