Mayor’s Raise Put On Hold

CAMERON – Roughly 30 concerned residents believe the mayor of Cameron may deserve somewhat of a pay raise, but they are not ready to increase the annual salary from $500 to $12,000.

Inside a jam-packed Cameron City Council chamber Monday, members voted to table a proposal to significantly increase the mayor’s pay, as well as their own. Members expect the matter to be discussed at a future meeting.

Council proposed earlier this month to raise the mayor’s salary from $500 a year to $12,000 a year, with members’ pay going from $100 a year to $2,400 a year for the next fiscal year.

The increases would not go into effect until the city’s elections in May when the mayor and three council members’ terms, including Walter “Rocky” Guzek, Helen McMasters and Jack Hart Sr., will end. The combined salaries of the mayor and three council members would total $19,200.

“I believe anyone who sits at this table deserves more compensation,” Mayor Julie Beresford said during the Monday meeting. “I am not about taking advantage of this city. My door is always open.”

However, city residents Brian Marling and Greg Galentine said Beresford and council members need to consider that Cameron has problems that need addressed.

“I just cannot see these kinds of pay raises for a city this size when we cannot get potholes patched,” said Galentine. “If you want to give yourselves these kinds of raises, get involved in your wards.”

“I can see an increase, but this is a lot,” said Marling. “I want Cameron to survive.”

A comparison with five other municipalities of a similar population size in Ohio and West Virginia, showed a $12,000 salary is at least twice as much as those in other municipalities.

After other residents voiced similar concerns, council members Tom Hart and Wayne Simmons said they believe the mayor’s hard work should be rewarded at some point.

The next meeting is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 6 at the City Building.