Atlanta council members vote to give themselves 50 percent raise - CBS46 News

Atlanta council members vote to give themselves a 50 percent pay raise

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Atlanta council members voted 10-4 in favor of giving themselves and the mayor significant pay raises on Monday.

"Let's be very clear. This raise is not until 2014, the third quarter of 2014," Council Member Joyce Sheperd said.

Sheperd supported the idea of giving city council members a pay raise for the first time in six years.

"This raise again is not for us as we speak today. If I'm not elected in 2014, I won't get a dime," Sheperd said.

Sheperd said the pay would not kick in until after the November 2013 elections for mayor and council.

"Do you plan to support this measure?" CBS Atlanta News reporter Adam Murphy asked. 

"I know it's on the agenda today and we're all taking it under consideration. I'll be honest I'm going to vote in the affirmative," Atlanta Council Member Carla Smith said.

City council members will see their salaries jump from about $39,000 a year to just more than $60,000. That's a 50 percent pay increase. 

"It's just real hard right now to swallow that type of pay raise for anybody right now," taxpayer Dan Rhoney said.

"I think they are deserving of it, but there are a lot of people that are deserving of raises also.  Other city employees, people making $15,000 a year or less," taxpayer Deborah Hutchison said.

As for the mayor, his salary would increase from about $147,000 a year to just more than $184,000. Mayor Kasim Reed has already said he will not accept the raise, but not council members.     

"On any given day I will come here in the morning, leave here and not come home until 9 o'clock at night," Sheperd said.

Council members Kwanza Hall, C.T. Martin, Natalyn Archibong and Keisha Bottoms all voted against a pay raise. Hall said he didn't feel it was the right time economically to support the measure.

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