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Marco Island City Council gives vote to "the people" on pay increase

It would be the council's first pay increase since 1997
Marco City Council gives vote to residents on pay increase
Posted at 9:59 PM, Jan 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-10 22:04:14-05

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. — Pay increases are a hot topic right now in Southwest Florida and Marco Islands City Council is joining in.

In March, voters on Marco Island will decide if their council will get an increase. The first increase they will receive since the charter was written in 1997.

"The residents ought to have a voice in what the council is paid," said Greg Folley, council member.

The increase would take council members from $6,000 a year, the same as it was in 1997, to $11,500 a year. The Chairman would go from $9,000 to $17,200. Folley says this move is to adjust the pay from the 1997 dollar to the current value.

"It's really just a volunteer position at this juncture, probably would be still," said Folley. "For people who don't have a lot of money that are living paycheck to paycheck, probably spending as much time on council as we do is not an option."

In Monday's meeting, this was not a topic that brought public comment, and some on the council even voted against it.

"My view is that these positions are performed as a public service," said Joe Rola, council member.

"You have to ask yourself, what's the end game here? What does this hope to accomplish?" said Erik Brechnitz, Vice Chairman.

Yet, with a 5-2 vote, the council will put those on the ballot for voters.

"I know that we had a pay referendum back about 10 years ago and it went down with 80 plus percent of the citizens voting against it," said Folley. "I'd be actually a little bit surprised if this passes."

The vote for the pay increase is scheduled for March 19. Fox 4 will keep you up to date on the decision.