Jerome says no thanks to paid service on council
Volunteerism ‘a time-honored tradition’
JEROME — The Jerome Town Council said no thanks to a payday Tuesday.
The council considered a pay rate for future Jerome councils beginning in 2020-22, in a resolution sponsored by Vice Mayor Sage Harvey.
“And I put this in here because, not because I necessarily feel like I want to get paid,” explained Harvey. “The mayor works her &%$ off. Her job is certainly full time if not more. It’s a thankless job that we do up here for free.”
Harvey pointed to a municipality survey that out of 83 Arizona municipalities, 71 cities and towns paid their governing bodies something.
A survey of local municipalities shows Cottonwood pays its mayor $750 a month, council $500 a month. Sedona pays its mayor $700 and month, council $500 a month. The Camp Verde mayor is paid $350 and month with council members receiving $250. Clarkdale pays its mayor $400 and month and council $200 a month.
“It’s a lot of work for nothing,” Harvey said.
Harvey said she was actually acting on a 2010 ordinance, which was passed by the Jerome Council at the time. The ordinance gives future councils the authority to give themselves pay raises through a resolution.
Council Member Mandy Worth said she agreed with Harvey, except the part about the council getting paid.
“I don’t disagree we work our butts off. I don’t disagree that I don’t spend a lot of time doing this,” Worth said, adding that she spends about 20 to 40 hours a week on some form of council business.
“This is a time-honored tradition” of Jerome, Worth said.
Further, Worth said council compensation should be left up to voters.
A letter was read to the council from former Councilman Hunter Bachrach concerning compensation: “Volunteerism has a long-standing history in Jerome and must be preserved.”
“I urge you to vote NO on resolution 587 and any future resolution calling for monetary compensation for the elected position you now hold.”
“Don’t destroy the time-honored tradition of volunteerism in the Jerome Town Council,” he stated.
Councilmember Jane Moore agreed that the council should remain a volunteer position and the council passed over the resolution without taking any action on Harvey’s request.