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Published on January 1st, 2014 |

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Atlanta City Council’s 33% pay raise begins today

The Atlanta City Council’s new 33 percent pay raise takes effect today, raising the former salary for council members from $39,473 to $60,300 and the salary of the council president from $49,997 to $62,000.
Dist. 9’s Felicia Moore
Following a nearly eight-month study, the city’s Elected Officials Compensation Committee, an independent group of seven residents required by the city charter to review the compensation of elected officials every four years, recommended in December 2012 the raise to the council for its approval.

The proposal was based on a review of the Atlanta council’s pay compared to governing bodies in other cities similar in population and budget, which after the raise are still lower than their counterparts’ in cities such as Boston, Milwaukee, Denver, Portland, Seattle and Washington.

The committee said Atlanta elected leaders have a more expansive oversight responsibility than those cities, including managing Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest, and the city’s enormous sewer and water operations. The council’s responsibilities also include overseeing a budget of $1.5 billion.

The council approved the pay increase 10-4. Council members Carla Smith, Cleta Winslow, Alex Wan, Howard Shook, Yolanda Adrean, Felicia Moore, Joyce Sheperd, Michael Bond, Aaron Watson, and H. Lamar Willis voted yes, and Kwanza Hall, Natalyn Archibong, C.T. Martin and Keisha Lance Bottoms opposed the action. Councilman Ivory Lee Young Jr. was absent.

The raise is the council’s first since 2005. The compensation committee had recommended a raise in 2008 but the council rejected it then due to a poor economy that had forced layoffs and furloughs of city employees and cutbacks in city services.

All of Buckhead’s representatives on City Council supported the pay raise because they have

 Howard Shook

said the job requires full-time attention, although it is listed as a part-time job. It includes attending council meetings, committee meetings, work sessions, community meetings and being out in the public in the district he or she serves, hearing residents’ concerns.


When Dist. 9 Councilwoman Felicia Moore was first elected in 1997, the salary for council members was $22,000 a year. She is the longest tenured council member representing part of the Buckhead area. 


Dist. 7 Councilman Howard Shook, who is entering his fourth term, told BuckheadView during campaigning for the November election that some of the candidates may have entered the race partly because of the pay increase. He said his two opponents even asked whether or not it was a full-time job.

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