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City Council pay could be increasing in West Lafayette

As of right now, West Lafayette city council members make around $6,200 a year, compared to Lafayette council members who make around $14,800 a year even though both cities are now considered the same size by the state.

Posted: Mar 9, 2020 6:32 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)- The city of West Lafayette is considering increasing city council member pay. The population of West Lafayette is continuing to grow, making the work load of council members larger. As of right now, West Lafayette city council members make around $6,200 a year.

"Before the annexation the city of West Lafayette was much smaller but now we are one click up in terms of the way the state designates cities,” said city council president Peter Bunder.

The growth of the city has changed West Lafayette's classification from a Class 3 city to a Class 2 city, the same classification given to Lafayette.

"In order for us to be competitive we need to make sure we are competitive with our salaries," said West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis.

Across the river in Lafayette City Council members make around $14,800 a year. West Lafayette City Council is considering a plan that would raise council salaries $3,000 each year from 2021 to 2023, bringing council pay to just over $16,000. The raise is something West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis says council members have earned.

"They attend meeting they attend different events outside of their regular legislative calendar they participate actively to my encouragement with operations in the city," said Dennis.

Council Members say they just want their pay to be equal to that of other cities the same size as West Lafayette.

"When we were small and we had a small tax base the responsibilities were fewer and the time that it took to do your job well was less, “added Bunder.

The Mayor says city council positions are vital to West Lafayette’s future.

"How else would we know what we need to do without our councilor interacting with the population base they serve and letting us know," said Mayor Dennis.

Budget talks for the city don't start until later in the year. The proposed salary increase for city council members will be voted on as an ordinance later this year.

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