The proposed council budget for next year is nearly $1 million, which is nearly $200,000 more than 2012.
Councilwoman Angela Dougan said she is opposed to increasing the council’s budget.
“We should be leaders and model reducing government and its cost to taxpayers,” she said. “If there are new budget items that the council would like to pay for, council members need to cut from the existing budget.”
The city’s overall budget is more than $200 million.
The proposed increases in council’s budget include an additional$48,222 to make a half-time principal analyst a full-time employee with an annual salary of $96,444.
The council also is proposing to add $23,500 to its budget to make a newly hired communications specialist a full-time employee. That employee, Vicki Gomes, who was hired to work 30 hours a week, would be paid $66,500 under the proposed budget.
Council Administrator Aimee Cox would get a $4,845 raise, bringing her annual salary to $101,736.
The council also is budgeting $4,150 for a “council transition” following the April municipal election, where six council seats are up for grabs. Budgeted expenses include $1,200 for “outgoing gifts” for six council members and $600 for a swearing-in ceremony and reception.
The council is proposing to transfer the cost of the city lobbyist — $35,000 — from the general costs budget to the council budget. The lobbyist’s salary wouldn’t change.
The budget for snacks and drinks won’t change either. The council plans to spend $2,900 for drinks and snacks next year, too. Council members, who are paid $6,250 a year, often spend long hours in meetings at City Hall and don’t have time to go eat lunch or dinner.