City-County building in Helena

The city-county building in Helena is seen in this file photo.

Jesse Chaney, Independent Record

Helena’s city commission is considering a plan to raise commissioner and mayor pay by January 2020.

The mayor and commission voted Monday evening to bring the issue to a public meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 18 in the commission chambers at the Helena City-County building.

Commissioner Andres Haladay recused himself from the vote because the pay raise would take effect during his current term. All other members of the governing body, whose terms expire prior to January 2020, voted yes. 

The proposal would give each commissioner a 32 percent raise, from $6,800 to $9,000 per year. The mayor would have a 29 percent bump, from $8,500 to $11,000 per year.

The plan would also increase expense accounts from $100 to $150 per month for commissioners and $150 to $250 per month for the mayor. The expense accounts are used for travel or meetings with citizens.

The proposal would also include health insurance for commissioners and their families.

Commissioner Dan Ellison, who will leave the commission this year after declining to run for re-election, said the increase in workload justified the increase in pay.

“Things get more expensive over time,” he said. 

According to Commissioner Ed Noonan, “This is an increase in salary for those without resources."

City employee pay was last raised in August after a city commission vote.

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Reporter at the Helena Independent Record.

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