Council approves potential strong mayor salary on first reading - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Council approves potential strong mayor salary on first reading

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The salary of Columbia's proposed strong mayor was given a unanimous first reading vote by city council Tuesday night.

The seven-member council agreed on a yearly salary of $160,000 if the strong mayor proposal were to go into effect.

Mayor Steve Benjamin and Councilman Moe Baddourah did not take a vote because both are candidates for mayor.

Right now the mayor of Columbia is only salaried at $17,500.

The $160,000 pay is obviously a huge jump, but outside employment is also being considered as a factor. Right now, the city attorney is drafting wording for the salary requirements if an elected strong mayor has other sources of income. That will also be considered in council's second reading vote.

The salary will only be effective if Columbia voters elect to have a strong mayor in the special election being held Dec. 3rd. If strong mayor ordinance does not pass, the mayor's salary will increase to $75,000.

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