An ordinance to place a proposed pay increase for council members before the voters in November and a feasibility study to revamp bus stops within Islamorada are among the items on the Islamorada Village Council’s Aug. 4 agenda.
The meeting is the first for new Village Manager Ted Yates. He was selected following a search that concluded in May when council members picked the former Twinsburg, Ohio mayor.
In March, Councilman Mark Gregg brought forth discussion on a possible referendum for a pay increase for council members. Per an ordinance, council members are paid $1,000 per month, or $12,000 a year. During a June meeting, the dais discussed possibly doubling that figure to $2,000 a month, or $24,000 a year. Four council members supported that pay hike during the first reading of a proposed ordinance. Councilman David Webb was the lone “no” vote.
If council members approve the ordinance’s second reading, a referendum will be placed on the Nov. 8 ballot for voters to decide if they support a charter amendment to increase monthly compensation of council members from $1,000 a month to $2,000 a month. If the majority of voters are in favor, it would take effect following the election.
“It’s not going to be a lot of money. It may not cover that (financial concern). As you know from the time we spend, this is a part-time job,” Gregg said in March. “I don’t think I’ve made minimum wage, but that’s OK. I signed up because I like it, not because I did it for the money.”
A survey of salaries from other Keys municipalities show Islamorada on the lower end for council compensation. Key West’s seven commissioners make $20,000 a year, while Marathon council members make around $21,000 (with exception of one who makes $18,000, with $771.31 going to the Florida retirement system per month).
Outside the Keys, Marco Island commissioners make just $6,000 a year, while Treasure Island commissioners get $5,400 a year. Ormond Beach commissioners receive $14,494.75 annually.
Council members will also consider a resolution to approve McFarland-Johnson Inc. for a feasibility study related to bus shelters in the village. Bus stop improvements along U.S. 1 are in the village’s 2017-23 strategic plan. During last year’s budget workshops, the village council asked for funds to install bus stop shelters throughout Islamorada. It was brought forth by Vice Mayor Henry Rosenthal out of concern for workers traveling to and from Miami-Dade County by bus. A 2021-22 adopted budget set aside $100,000 for the bus stop project.
Per a proposed resolution, costs for the feasibility study wouldn’t exceed $27,533.74.
The village council meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at Founders Park Community Center.