Sun, Oct. 20

Jerome Council passes on compensation for itself
Previous council approved pay for future members

JEROME - The Town Council decided Tuesday night against setting compensation for its elected members.

Town Manager Candace Gallagher told the council, "You can set pay by resolution, but you cannot set it for yourself."

The item was placed on the meeting agenda because the previous council had passed an ordinance that would allow future councils to set compensation for council members simply by passing a resolution. But the town attorney informed the council that it could only set compensation for future town councils.

Councilman Lew Currier said that, given the current economic situation, he didn't like the idea of paying the council. "We should get rid of the whole thing," he said.

"The previous mayor thought this was important," said Mayor Jay Kinsella.

Vice Mayor Christine Barag said that with the town's money troubles the council should not create compensation for itself.

Currier tried to enter a motion to "Drop the matter of compensation and leave it as it is."

The attorney said all the council needed to do was just "take no action." That way the council would not have to change the current ordinance, and that would allow future councils to take up the question if they decide to do so.

The previous council, with Al Palmieri as mayor, approved the ordinance in November that would allow future councils to set compensation for council members. The Palmieri council knew it could not pay itself, but council members thought future councils could do so simply by passing a resolution.

"This was my idea," Palmieri said during the November meeting. He said the ordinance was originally considered mostly to reimburse council members for the cost of gasoline and incidentals related to meetings.

The amount of compensation recommended at the time was $50 per council member per month.

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