Bauxite salary cuts on council agenda

Bauxite City Council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. today to discuss the possibility of lowering the salaries of the mayor and the aldermen.

In an email to the Bauxite alderman, Mayor Johnny McMahan explained that he believes the current salaries for the alderman and for the mayor's office are too high based on the number of residents in Bauxite.

McMahan provided the aldermen with a list of comparable aldermen's and mayors' salaries from similar sized towns in Arkansas.

Currently, Bauxite aldermen are paid $175 per month and the mayor receives $865. McMahan is proposing reducing the aldermen's salary to $50 per month and the mayor's salary to $740 per month.

The city of Tull has a similar population of 448 residents compared to Bauxite's 487. McMahan noted that the mayor of Tull receives $600 per month and that the aldermen receive no pay for their service.

McMahan also stated that former Bauxite mayor Gary Duncan addressed this issue in a July 19, 2010, meeting of the council. The official meeting minutes read: "Mayor Duncan said he has been doing the water and sewer clerk job and feels we need to hire someone so they can be trained. He suggested one way to help pay was to reduce the mayor's and council members' pay by 40 percent. Mr. Ramsey (former alderman Ronnie Ramsey) said he would only agree if all elected persons agreed to a 40 percent cut in pay. The recorder/treasurer (Brenda Hendrix) said she would not agree to a cut."

A 40 percent cut in pay would have reduced the council members salaries to $105 per month and the mayor's compensation to $519 per month.
McMahan noted that "a salary reduction of $125 of each council member's salary would leave an extra $7,500 in our general fund; lowering the mayor's salary would help out an extra $2,750 for a total of over $10,000 that we could use in other places."

This item is included on the agenda and will be discussed at tonight's council meeting.