St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister doesn’t want a raise, she told a home rule charter review committee this week, but that might not stop the panel from pursuing a measure that would make the parish’s chief executive the highest-paid elected official.
Parish Councilman Steve Stefancik, who sits on the charter review committee, told Brister at a meeting Monday that his proposal wasn’t aimed at any individual and wouldn’t even take effect during the current term.
But if the measure is one of the charter revisions ultimately put before voters, it could affect whoever wins the next election for parish president — whether that’s Brister or someone else.
He compared the situation to the Parish Council, which can’t raise its own salary but can vote on a pay raise that goes into effect the following term.
The charter currently calls for the parish president to be paid an average of the salaries paid to the sheriff, assessor and clerk of court. Stefancik’s proposal calls for the parish president to be paid $1,000 more than the highest of those three office holders. She’s currently paid $160,063.
But Brister wanted to make clear that she was not the one pushing for the change. “I have not spoken to you about it,” she said to Stefancik. “My interest, if re-elected, is not to take a pay raise if it is offered.”
The panel ultimately voted to postpone acting on the measure.
Follow Sara Pagones on Twitter at @spagonesadvocat.