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KCMO mayor, council members approve own pay increases

KCMO City Council chambers
Posted at 9:25 PM, Jul 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-11 22:25:43-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mayor Elect Quinton Lucas and the incoming Kansas City, Missouri, City Council are getting a pay bump.

The council voted 8-4 to increase pay for council members and the KCMO mayor on Thursday afternoon.

Council members will receive a nearly 15% raise, or more than $9,000, from $61,659 to $70,718 per year.

The mayor’s new salary also increases nearly 15%, or more than $18,000, from $123,156 to $141,455 per year.

The 12 council members and Lucas, who beat Jolie Justus in last month’s mayoral election, also receive a monthly automobile allowance.

The city council salaries are extremely high for a part-time position compared to other Midwest cities, including St. Louis ($37,000) and Nashville ($23,000).

Minnesapolis ($99,000) and Milwaukee ($73,000) pay council members more, but it’s a full-time job in both cities.

Outgoing council member Jermaine Reed explained why he made the proposal to 41 Action News last month, saying, “Given the fact there has not been an increase in eight years, I thought it was appropriate to recommend an increase for the incoming mayor and council.”

Lucas, who was out of town and did not vote on the ordinance, said last month he wasn’t in favor of the raises.

"We sign up for these jobs to do public service," Lucas told 41 Action News. "You know what the salary is when you're running. I understand where the proposal is coming from, but it's not something I support."

Council members Scott Wagner, Heather Hall, Scott Taylor and Kevin McManus voted against the increase.

Wagner and Taylor are leaving the council before the raises take effect Aug. 1, but Hall and McManus will remain on the council.

Council members Teresa Loar, Dan Fowler, Katheryn Shields and Lee Barnes Jr. all voted to give themselves hefty raises.

They were joined by outgoing Mayor Sly James and outgoing council members Reed, Justus and Alissia Canady.