85
      Tuesday
      89 / 72
      Wednesday
      90 / 73
      Thursday
      90 / 72

      Columbia council members discuss potential strong mayor salary

      Mayor Steve Benjamin and Councilman Moe Baddourah recused themselves from the salary vote in tonight's council meeting.

      COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) - Mayor Steve Benjamin and Councilman Moe Baddourah recused themselves from the salary discussion for a possible strong mayor at Tuesday night's council meeting.

      The discussion came about one day before the council takes another vote on whether to put a strong mayor referendum on the Novemeber ballot. No decisions were made on the amount a strong mayor could possibly earn. Council members said the subject was too new to determine a salary.

      Howard Duvall, whose group protested against the Strong Mayor form of government, suggested $150,000 as a salary for the Mayor.

      Duvall says that is an adequate amount for the Mayor to live on.

      ??The salary is not for Steve Benjamin, but for the office of Mayor." says Duvall.

      However, other's suggested that the Mayor's current salary of $17,500 was just fine.

      Another questions raised Tuesday evening was if the mayor would be hired full time or part time Mayor should the form of government change.

      Councilwoman Leona Plaugh says if you are going to pay someone for a full day of work, you want to make sure you are getting full time.

      According to the city attorney, Ken Gaines, the mayor is not required to work full time. He also says that if the form of government remains the same, the mayor's salary will also remain the same.