Pay raise for Ocean Springs alderman

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - When it comes to putting more money in the pockets of city aldermen, reactions are mixed among Ocean Springs residents.

"I don' think now is a good time.  I think there are a lot of other people in this city that need pay raises right now," says Allison Carter, Ocean Springs.

"If they do everything they're supposed to do as far as helping the city, I think they should get a raise," says Christina Clark, Ocean Springs.

Right now, city aldermen are paid $1230 per month; the pay raise would up that to $1600 dollars per month, that's about a 30% increase in pay.

Outgoing Ward 3 Alderman Curtis Lloyd was one of two aldermen who voted against the increase.

"I thought the timing was very poor.  When I ran, I ran for a salary and I knew what it was and everybody else did, changing the salary I thought was wrong," says Lloyd.

WLOX tried to reach out to the four aldermen who voted in favor of the pay raise, but three of them were out of the city and we weren't able to reach the fourth.  We did talk to James Hagan of Ward 6, by phone, who said he was upfront with voters before he got elected that he would vote in favor a pay raise.  He went on to say the raise was "necessary, understandable and decent."

According to Hagan, the board used "The Stennis Institute of Government" report to come up with the pay increase.  The report, which shows comparable pay scales state wide, is the same report D'Iberville used when it proposed a pay raise for city officials.

According to the city clerk, it's been eight years since aldermen have had a pay increase. However, they do receive a three percent increase in pay each year to adjust for cost of living.

Something to note, two of the newly elected alderman, did not vote on the pay increase.  They were not sworn when the vote was taken.

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