City Council approves 76 percent bump in salaries

October 2, 2018

DIXON – The City Council raised its salaries by about 76 percent in a split vote Monday, the first increase in nearly 3 decades.

Since 1989, Dixon council members have been paid $5,400 a year, and that amount will jump to $9,500 at the start of new 4-year terms in 2019 for two seats and 2021 for the other two.

Councilman Ryan Marshall agreed that the elected positions were overdue for a bump but said the number that accounts for 30 years of inflation, almost $11,000, was too high.

They should aim for the middle ground, and salaries should not exceed $7,800, Councilman Kevin Marx said.

Councilman Dennis Considine was opposed to a raise because council members were designed to have fewer responsibilities under the city manager form of government than the commissioner form, then changed his mind.

Councilman Mike Venier suggested that they go for $8,000, which would be more of a round number.

Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said he would support any increase the council agreed on to make a council seat look more attractive to a wider range of people, who don’t have the convenience of being rich or retired.

The council planned to take a vote on each of the suggested numbers, and Marshall started with the high end, $9,500.

He took a straw poll of the council to see if enough people would go for the amount, and the vote passed 3-2 with Marx and Venier against.

The previous council discussed raising salaries in April last year, but the group couldn’t reach a consensus, and it was shortly before newly elected Marshall and Considine were going to be seated.

That group did approve a $10,000 bump to the mayor’s salary, totaling $19,500, which was the first increase in 3 decades and will go into effect in May 2019.

Council members in Sterling are paid $200 a month and $300 a month in Rock Falls, totalling $2,400 and $3,600 a year, respectively.

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