SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Leaders of the City of Suffolk voted to give themselves a raise Wednesday night — although it won’t kick in right away.
The salaries for City Council members and the mayor will increase on July 1, 2023 after council agreed to the increase by a 6-2 vote.
At that time, City Council members will receive $23,000 a year, up more than 53% from their current $15,000. Likewise, the position of mayor will be paid $25,000, up nearly 39% from the current $18,000 a year.
“I think this is a long time coming,” Mayor Mike Duman said. “To do this job well is very, very time-consuming. To the individual working 40 hours a week … they would not be able to serve in this capacity.”
Duman commented that everyone currently on City Council is either retired or owns their own business. Duman owns his own auto sales company.
He, along with Councilman Tim Johnson, said they have to raise the pay for younger generations to consider running.
However, Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett, who along with Councilman Donald Goldberg voted against the proposal, said he views the “salary” more like a “stipend.”
“We don’t do this for the money, it’s about serving the people,” Bennett said.
Suffolk’s pay for the part-time position is far from the highest in the region. Virginia Beach’s mayor makes $30,000 a year.