By DEBORAH GERTZ HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
NAUVOO, Ill. -- Third Ward Alderman Bev Reynolds believes it might be time to boost salaries for Nauvoo's elected officials -- the mayor, clerk and aldermen.
That idea has gone to the finance committee, which meets Monday and could have something to present as early as Tuesday night's Nauvoo City Council meeting.
"We will try to put something together," Alderman Chuck Gilbert, who chairs the committee, said. "It depends on whether or not we'll have time this month or next month."
Gilbert stressed nothing will change until after the next election cycle, because an official's pay can't change their term of office.
"This would the time to do it, then it would be two or three years before it ever takes effect," he said.
Reynolds checked on salaries in several neighboring communities, and "for the most part," she says they're higher than what Nauvoo pays.
"Anyone new might just be more likely to want to run for the office if they have pay that's comparable to others," Reynolds said. "It's always good to stay close to what the other officials are getting."
For the past 14 years, Nauvoo has paid the mayor $255 a month and $55 for special or committee meetings, the clerk $1,500 a year and aldermen $50 for each council meeting and $30 for any special or committee meetings.
Although no specific salary is proposed, Reynolds would like to see alderman pay increase to about $90 for council meetings and $50 for committee meetings.
"There just isn't any number I can give you right now, but I know the proposal will be significantly higher than what we do right now," Gilbert said.
Salaries for other mayors are "a lot higher" and "the clerk's salaries are significantly larger," Gilbert said, but "we're not going to increase it that much to make a huge difference" in the budget.
Nauvoo's clerk Carol McGhghy is a full-time city employee and also handles the clerk's duties.
"Just going to all the meetings and doing the minutes and preparing the documents is a major job," Gilbert said.
Any salary changes likely would be put into place over a period of time, instead of all at once, but "that's up to the council to discuss," Gilbert said.
Reynolds brought up the salary issue soon after she was elected to the council about four years ago, but the discussion didn't go anywhere.
"We didn't like to talk about it, but somebody has to sometime," she said. "I hope that it passes, that we can increase it some anyway."