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Two aldermen object to big pay hike

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Evanston aldermen postponed action Monday on a proposed 23.1 percent pay hike for the next City Council after two council members called it excessive.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward said the pay increase should be in line with the increases received by other city employees — which in recent years have roughly matched increases in the cost of living.

"That would be much more equitable," Wynne said. 

She also suggested that the financial difficulties faced by the state, which could impact the amount of money the city gets from state programs, was another reason to avoid a big pay hike.

Alderman Brian Miller, 9th Ward, said he also opposed the 23.1 percent increase that had been recommended by a compensation committee appointed by the mayor, given all the city's other priorities.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, then asked that the vote on the pay hike be postponed until the City Council's Sept. 12 meeting, when — she hoped — all nine aldermen would be present. Only six aldermen were at Monday's meeting.

The City Council did approve a 23.1 percent pay increase for the mayor.

It postponed action on the Compensation Committee's recommendation to increase the city clerk's compensation by the same percentage amount as the increase that non-union city employees receive over the next four years. That delay came at the request of City Clerk Rodney Greene, who wasn't able to attend Monday's meeting.

Under state law each City Council, toward the end of its term, is required to set the compensation of the officials to be chosen at the upcoming election.

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