February 6, 2013 10:23:47 AM
The Starkville Board of Aldermen got the five votes needed Tuesday night to override Mayor Parker Wiseman's veto of a pay increase for himself and the board.
At its Jan. 2 meeting, the board voted 6-1 for a $3,000 raise for aldermen and a $11,500 raise for the mayor to be implemented at the beginning of fiscal year 2015. The raises will bring aldermen salaries to $15,000 and the mayor's to $71,500.
Wiseman said he would not have opposed the measure had his position been left out of the pay increase, but because the mayor's salary was included, he could not support the raises, saying it would be "self-serving" if he did.
"I cannot justify a 19-percent increased pay package for a job that I already hold," Wiseman said in January. "I fully plan of being here in October 2014 and 2015, and I can't just pretend a pay raise fell into my lap."
The city is below the average salary in the state for elected officials, but is also lagging behind on salaries for the rest of its city employees. Wiseman said he felt the other employees' salaries should be addressed first.
He made it clear at the Jan. 2 meeting that he planned on vetoing the pay increase, despite the 6-1 result.
Tuesday night, the veto was overridden 5-1, with Ward 4 Alderman Richard Corey absent.
Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver was the lone dissenting vote on both occasions.