Mayor will seek another term
Tuesday, August 06, 2013 6:53 AM
Don Arendt will seek another four-year term as mayor of Decorah.
"People have been asking me, and my answer is 'yes, I will be running,' " Arendt told the Decorah City Council during its meeting Monday night.
Earlier in the meeting, Arendt brought up the topic of pay for Council members and the mayor. Council members currently are paid $40 for each official Council meeting, and the mayor receives $350 per month.
"The issue was brought up by (Decorah resident) Jerry Aulwes four years ago ... smaller communities on either side (of Decorah) are getting twice as much per meeting than Decorah. We should look at it. The last time it was raised was in 1999," he said.
Changing the Council and mayor's pay would require an ordinance revision. Three readings of an ordinance must be held before the change could be adopted.
"With everyone up for election this fall, other than Rachel (Vagts), I thought it would be a good time to bring it up. I wanted to see if Council members want to work on it," Arendt said.
Council member Carolyn Corbin said it was a good idea, but she didn't get support from the rest of the Council.
"There are better uses for our money than spending it on ourselves. We aren't paying other boards and commissions. The fact we're reimbursed at all is nice, but we've got better uses for our money," Council member Paul Wanless said.
The other Council members were in agreement. Corbin said it was clear it would be "futile at this point" to pursue raises. But she said serving on the Council takes more time than she anticipated.
"I want to do a good job, everyone on this Council does. It's a lot more than showing up to a meeting ... it's meeting with people one on one," she said.
"When it comes down to it, it's a thankless job, there's a lot of grief. People want you to fix everything --things we as City Council people don't have the power to fix."
She said if increasing the pay would get more citizens interested in serving it would be beneficial.
"Nobody serves on the Council to get rich. With a small amount of pay, it could be adjusted upward without dramatically hurting our budget," Corbin said.