Charles City Council discuss Mayoral and City Council pay

RAGBRAI announcement brings work and excitement to Charles City

By Thomas Nelson,

The City Council discussed the mayor and it’s salary during an unofficial meeting Jan. 23.

The council discussed raising the mayor’s salary to $4,800. Currently, the mayor makes less than most mayors in communities in and around the population size of Charles City, Steven Diers, Charles City Administrator said.

Currently the mayor’s salary is $4,500 per year, and the City Council makes $30 per council and specialty meeting. Council members are not compensated for planning meetings or budget workshops with a $1,000 cap currently in place.

The average salary for mayors in cities with the population of Charles City is $5,235, Diers said.

“Mayor Erb has done a tremendous job and will do a tremendous job until he decides not to run,” Keith Starr, Charles City Council member said.

Jerry Joerger, Charles City Council member, suggested increasing the mayor’s salary.

The council also discussed their own salary.

“You’re better off to keep it on the meager side,” said DeLaine Freeseman, Charles City Council member.

Freeseman didn’t even know that council members received a salary when he was first elected and was surprised by his first check.

“We’re not doing this for money,” Joerger said. “I don’t really care what we do, we can stay where we are.”

Michael Hammond, Charles City Council member, suggested the council get paid the same amount, but get paid for the planning meetings as well, but was okay with increasing the pay of the council to $50 per meeting.

“I’m comfortable either direction,” Hammond said.

The council ended up considering increasing the council pay to $40 a session, and the mayor having a $4,800 salary, though no actions were taken, and nothing was voted on during this meeting.

The council also went over the general fund and employee benefits during the budget meeting, with no major changes happening to either fund.

The Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa or RAGBRAI was also discussed as it will be coming to Charles City on July 26.

The Mayor and Steve Diers were unable to make it to the RAGBRAI announcement party in Des Moines on Saturday Jan. 21 as planned because the fog. Trudy O’Donnell, Charles City Clerk, and the Mayor’s wife were both in attendance because they had left earlier in the day.

“We all should be happy to be designated a stop on the RAGBRAI route,” Mayor James Erb, Charles City, said.

RABGRAI presents a chance for the community to work to paint a positive brush of Charles City’s waterfront and Main Street, Erb said.

“I’m looking forward to lots of participation,” Erb said.

Picking a theme for Charles City will be an early, but important task.

Now that Charles City has been chosen as a RAGBRAI town, the city has to get ready to meet the needs of the bicycle riders that will be coming into town.

An advisory committee will be getting formed and a meeting with RAGBRAI officials has been schedule for next week.

“A lot of work, but it should be fun,” Joerger said.