|Westfield Mayor Andy Cook|
The city of Westfield’s decision to give its mayor a raise raised eyebrows among the town’s 30,000 taxpayers.
Mayor Andy Cook's salary will increase from $98,200 in 2011 to $108,200 in 2012, which is a 10 percent raise.
According to a salary survey by the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, only two Indiana mayors, Carmel’s and Fort Wayne’s, earn annual salaries in the six figures range.
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has a base salary of $95,000, RTV6's Kara Kenney reported.
On Monday, the Westfield City Council voted to increase members’ salaries from $13,000 to $15,000, which is a 15 percent increase.
Clerk Treasurer Cindy Gossard’s salary was also increased 9 percent from $67,500, to $73,300. Westfield city employees received about a 4 percent raise.
Jennifer Simmons, deputy director of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, said community leaders have the right to increase or decrease pay, and that voters can voice their opinions on Election Day.
"If one community chooses to give no raises and the other chooses to give 4 percent, that is their prerogative as leaders in their community,” Simmons wrote in an email to RTV6. "If the voters in that community do not believe they have made their case for why those raises were necessary or affordable, that is something for the voters to consider at the ballot box."
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Of course, the election was last month and there won't be one for another four years. How convenient.
I have previously reported on Mayor Cook's outrageous spending of taxpayer money and financial irregularities in Westfield. Cook's mismanagement was so bad that Republicans almost threw him out of office in the May primary.
Friday, April 24, 2009, Westfield Mayor Loses His Mind
Wednesday, May 20, 2009, State Board of Accounts Skewers Westfield for Financial Irregularities
It is interesting that when you have communities totally dominated by the Republican Party - such as Carmel and Westfield - many of the Republicans in power start acting like big spending Democrats.