A response on Thursday to a records request made by The B Square a month earlier, shows that Bloomington’s 2024 proposed budget was influenced by a private letter to Bloomington mayor John Hamilton, with apparent wet signatures from all nine city council members.
The letter asked that the mayor increase the salary for the city council’s administrator/attorney from a 2023 salary of $94,089 to $104,089 in 2024. That’s a 10.6-percent increase, or more than twice the 5-percent increase called for in the mayor’s proposed budget for all other non-union employees.
The city council’s argument is based on the idea that the city council’s administrator/attorney should be paid on par with the director of city of Bloomington utilities, the police chief, the fire chief, the head of public works, and the city’s corporation counsel, among other positions described as “department heads” in the city’s employee manual.
The letter also asks that the council’s administrator/attorney position receive another additional significant increase in 2025.
But any increases to the council staff salary budget for 2025 would depend on the decision by the next mayor, which is almost certain to be Democratic Party nominee Kerry Thomson. She’s unopposed on the Nov. 7 ballot. In general terms, under state law, the city council can reduce but not increase the mayor’s proposed budget amounts.
Before the city council’s Aug. 28 departmental budget hearing, there was no discussion by councilmembers at public meetings leading up to that hearing, about their desire that the administrator/attorney receive a substantial pay raise in 2024, beyond the standard cost-of-living increase for all employees. Continue reading “Private letter from Bloomington city council to mayor influenced proposed 2024 budget”