MINOT, N.D. - Monday night the Minot City Council voted to give themselves a pay raise for the first time in a decade.
The current rate is about $7 an hour. Aldermen said the increase will attract quality candidates.
Nearly every member on the city council voted to approve the salary increase. A similar motion failed in 2015.
The Minot city council is currently the second lowest paid in the state.
The mayor in Bismarck makes almost $8,000 more, and the mayor in Fargo makes more than $25,000 more a year.
“You have to take a look at size. If you compare some of the smaller sizes in North Dakota they get paid per meeting, but if you look at the community of size we are at least getting back into the realm of proximity where others are paid,” said Sipma.
City leaders say the increase will encourage more people to run for elected office, and make those positions more accessible.
“You get what you pay for. I think if you devalue public service by not paying people who are in public service adequately not exorbitantly but adequately what the market says the compensation is, I think that's making a statement about government, and that's not a statement I want to make”, said alderman Stephan Podrygula
The council already made room in next year's budget for the salaries.
“We did take a look at that in the budget workshop. That was actually highlighted in the first or second budget meeting at the Minot auditorium, and when Alderman Straight had brought it up at the second meeting it was highlighted again. So it was not a surprise to any alderman and to anyone else that attended those open meetings,” said Sipma
The rate will double for both the mayor and aldermen. Taking the mayor's annual salary from $9,000 to $18,000 and aldermen from $7,000 to $14,000 a year. Not all Minot commissioners approve of the pay increase.
“Discussion with Mr. Bray yesterday and also over the last few weeks Mr. Lakefield had some honest comments and feedback to myself, I just want to kind of own that right now and as a result I changed my tune, and I'm not going to be supporting this today,” said Alderman Shannon Straight
The raise will go into effect beginning next year.
The last pay increase for council members was in 2009 according to the Mayor’s office.