Greenville City Councilman Declines Pay Raise

A Greenville City Councilman disagrees so strongly with pay increases for the mayor and city council members that he says he's declining to accept the pay raise.

Calvin Mercer voted against the budget last Thursday. "Consistent with that vote, I have decided not to accept my salary increase for the present Council," Mercer wrote in an email to constituents. "City Attorney Dave Holec has advised me regarding the methods available for accomplishing that."

Mercer listed three reasons for voting against the budget and the pay increases. The motion to improve the pay was introduced after the public hearings for the budget had passed, allowing for no public feedback. "I believe any increase in elected official salaries, if it happens, should come after airing the issue before the public, most definitely not at the last minute in a budget process," Mercer wrote.

Mercer also says no council should vote for its own pay raises, but only for increases for when the next city council is seated.

Finally, Mercer says, "these are austere times and not the time to do this."

Mercer was the only city council member to vote against the budget.

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