The Gretna City Council on Wednesday approved 29 percent raises for the city’s mayor and police chief.
The raises, which go into effect next month, increase the salaries of Mayor Belinda Constant and Police Chief Arthur Lawson from $70,000 to $90,000 a year.
The raises came over the objections of about a half-dozen residents who said the raise for Constant, elected in 2013, is premature.
The raises were proposed by Councilman Wayne Rau, who said they would make the pay for the positions comparable to that in similar cities in Louisiana.
He said neither the mayor nor the chief asked for the raises, and he simply felt that after eight years, it was time to approve an increase.
Gretna resident Laurie Ledet was among the residents who raised objections. She said she supported the raise for the police chief but 29 percent was out of step for the city’s top administrator.
She said she thinks Constant is doing a great job, but “a lot of people work hard at their jobs. Many of our citizens work long hours, and many are very dedicated members of our community. … Never could they expect a 29 percent increase in salary.”
Council members approved the increases unanimously.
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