It takes votes in two separate meetings to pass an ordinance. A proposal to raise council members' salaries didn't make it through the second vote.
After months of debate, a proposal to raise City Council members' salaries died so quietly the community barely noticed it.
The proposal — which finally took the form of an ordinance to raise council members' salaries from $9,600 to $9,792, and the mayor's salary from $11,400 to $11,628 — made it through an initial council vote Feb. 2.
Then it came back Feb. 16 for the second council vote that is required to pass ordinances.
Usually, a second vote is fairly perfunctory; council members have already discussed the issue and voted once.
But at the Feb. 16 meeting, after Councilman Jason DeLorenzo made a motion to accept the ordinance, no one seconded his motion — including council members Heidi Shipley and Bill McGuire, who had voted in favor of it before. Someone on the council must second a motion in order for it to be put to vote, so the council salary proposal died without one.
The whole thing took less than five minutes, and none of the council members commented on the salary proposal before it failed.
In a brief interview after a City Council workshop Feb. 23, Shipley said that after the initial Feb. 2 vote but before the Feb. 16 hearing, she'd spoken to residents who had said the raise was so slight it wasn't worth it.
"It wasn't going to do anything to benefit the city," she said. Shipley and Councilman Steve Nobile — the sole council member to vote against the proposed salary ordinance at the Feb. 2 meeting — had both proposed larger raises in the past.
Shipley said she hoped a future council would consider the issue.
In accordance with the City Charter, if the council votes to raise its members' pay, the salary change would not go into effect until after the next election.