At the last Tallahassee City Commission meeting Commissioner Jeremy Matlow made a motion to have city staff bring back the steps required to bring Commissioner pay to the same level as Leon County Commissioner pay.
Currently Tallahassee City Commissioners are paid approximately $39,000 and Leon County Commissioners are paid approximately $80,000. The Mayor of Tallahassee is paid the same as a Leon County Commissioner.
Matlow’s motion passed 3-2 with Matlow and Commissioners Dianne Williams-Cox and Elaine Bryant voting yes. Mayor John Dailey and Commissioner Curtis Richardson voted no.
See 40 second video clip below.
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Commissioner Matlow explained his rationale for the motion in a series of tweets which are provided below.
City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow on City Commissioner Pay
Commission pay may seem like a trivial item, but in fact it’s a major barrier to access to government for everyday working people. Generally folks with means run for and hold these offices, because they have a separate income that allows them to serve the public for little pay.
The low salary local of elected officials has also contributed significantly to ethical conflicts which has gotten the City in major legal trouble that has made national news in recent years.
A reasonable, modest wage commensurate with the volume of work local Commissioners perform would allow for independence & full attention to working for the public — not seeing public service as a side job while earning a living from other sources which may cause conflicts.
As with all items that reach the ballot — it is up to the public to decide one way or the other. They will have the opportunity for an up or down vote on the matter and will have the final say. That’s how the process should work and that’s what we’ve supported today.