City Council voted Dec. 19 to give Dennis Clough, Westlake’s mayor since 1986, a $3,750 raise, which took effect Jan.1.
The raise boosts Clough’s salary to $159,000, a 2.4% increase over his previous salary of $155,250.
It’s Clough’s first pay raise since 2017. Council approved it 5-2 at its final meeting of 2019. Ward 3 Councilman Dennis Sullivan and Ward 5 councilman Kenneth Brady voted against it.
The measure freezes Clough's base salary set in 2017 at $140,250, but increased compensation based on years of experience. The mayor is paid $1,250 for each year of service up to a maximum of 15 years, or $18,750, in 2020. Previously, experience pay covered 12 years. Clough is in his 34th year as mayor.
By comparison, city employees received a 3% increase in 2019 and will receive similar increases the next two years based on new three-year contracts negotiated last year.
City Council's pay has increased by 2% annually since 2014. Council members adopted legislation a year ago granting themselves 2% increases through 2021.
Council defeated legislation on Dec. 19 to grant Clough a pay increase for 2018. Council President Mike Killeen said the measure was redundant because another piece of legislation appearing later on the agenda also addressed the mayor's pay. He said the vote was necessary so it could be removed from future agendas. However, the measure that passed did not provide a pay increase for the mayor for 2018 or 2019.
Council voted unanimously to give a 3.9% raise to part-time law director Michael P. Maloney, whose salary increased from $90,000 to $93,500.
Legislation council passed last spring established pay ranges through 2021 for nonunion city employees, with the exception of directors and the police and fire chiefs. Pay range increases are comparable to percentage increases negotiated with unions, Finance Director Preshant Shah said.
Shah said he expects legislation will be introduced soon asking council to consider 2020 pay increases for the city's nine directors and both chiefs, who received a 3% increase last year. Unlike other employees, he said, their compensation is reviewed and voted on by council every year.
Freelancer Michele Murphy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.