Ft. Smith Directors to Vote On Mayor Pay Raise

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Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders could soon have his salary doubled. City directors are scheduled to vote on a 100-percent pay raise next week.

Sanders currently makes $10,000 a year.

“The first time I saw that I thought this can't be right,” said City Director Don Hutchings. “You know I thought are we missing some zeros here.”

Hutchings wants to double the mayor’s salary. “The mayor is nonstop representing us so well and this is the least we could do,” he said.

The city says the mayor has not had a raise in decades. Some citizens do not agree with the potential pay increase.

“I don't think for one thing the city can afford it,” said Gene Barnett, of Fort Smith.

If directors approve the pay raise, the city says it would not take effect until January 2015.

“The state law prohibits the board from adjusting the mayor's salary during the mayor's current term,” said City Administrator Ray Gosack.

The mayor cannot work full time. “State law specifies that the mayor's position is a part time position,” said Gosack.

If the pay raise passes the city says they would take money out of the mayor’s budget to cover the cost.

“There's a lot of other things in Fort Smith that need fixing or need to be done before we give pay raises,” said Barnett.

City directors are scheduled to vote on the pay raise next Tuesday.