CAMERON - A proposed salary increase for Cameron Mayor Julie Beresford is significantly larger than mayors' salaries in other municipalities in the area based on population.
Cameron City Council proposed earlier this month to raise the mayor's salary from $500 a year to $12,000 a year, and council members' pay 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 totaling $19,200 would be budgeted for the next fiscal year.
In presenting the proposed increase, Beresford said city council recommended the pay increase because the mayor's position was "a full-time job."
However, in a comparison with five other municipalities of a similar population size in Ohio and West Virginia, a $12,000 salary is at least twice as much as those in other municipalities.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city of Cameron has 946 residents. The village of Flushing in Ohio, which has a comparable population size of 879 people, pays its mayor $5,000 annually and council members $1,200 annually.
Middlebourne also is close in size with a population of 815 and pays its mayor nearly three times less at $4,500 a year and council members only $300 a year.
Cities larger than Cameron still have mayor salaries smaller than the proposed salary.
With a population of 1,526, Glen Dale pays its mayor $4,800 a year, although council members would be paid the same as Cameron at $2,400.
Representatives from both Pine Grove and Flushing said they have had salary increases within the past two years.
Repeated calls to Beresford over the past two weeks were not returned.
Proposed Cameron Mayor and City Council Salaries Compared to Municipalities of Similar Size
City of Cameron- Population 946*
Council Members: $2,400/year
Council Members: $100/year
Flushing- Population 879
Council Members: $1,200/year
Middlebourne- Population 815
Council Members: $300/year
Pine Grove - Population 552
Council Members: $720/year
City of Glen Dale- Population 1,526
Council members: $2,400/year
City of Benwood- Population 1,420
Council members: $1,680/year
*Population figures based on 2010 U.S. Census data