Members of the new Lafayette City Council and Lafayette Parish Council may get paid $475 less than the current City-Parish Council.
The Home Rule Charter as amended by voters in December established the salaries of the new councils at what was listed in the old charter, $30,356 a year, Lorrie Toups, Lafayette Consolidated Government chief financial officer, said Tuesday. But that salary was based on two months at a lower hourly rate and 10 months at a higher rate, not 12 months at the higher rate.
The City-Parish Council approved a pay hike when it adopted the 2015-16 budget for the fiscal year that started Nov. 1. The raise went into effect when a new council took office in January, so the council salary listed in the charter was based on the lower pay rate for the old council for November and December, with the higher pay rate for 10 months from January through October, when the new council was seated. As a result, the salary of the new council members is not based on 12 months at the higher pay rate.
The 12-month salary of the council members should be $30,831 but apparently it's going to be $30,356 a year, a difference of $474, Toups said.
No one was overpaid, she said, as a result of the difference between the charter salary and the actual salary.
"I am 100 percent sure no one was overpaid," Toups said. "They were actually underpaid $8."
The Home Rule Charter allows the council to give itself and the mayor-president a 10 percent raise every four-year term. Councilman Bruce Conque, who is seeking re-election, during a recent budget meeting suggested budgeting a 10 percent raise for the fiscal year that begins Nov. 1, effective when the new councils take office in January, a practice that has been done in the past. A week later he withdrew the suggestion, saying instead the new separate city and parish councils could amend their respective budgets to give themselves raises if they want to.
Wednesday is the last day to register in person or by mail to vote in the Oct. 12 election for new city and parish council members. Sept. 21 is the deadline to register online through the Secretary of State Office.
Early voting is from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Sept. 28 through Oct. 5 at the Registrar of Voters Office, 1010 Lafayette St., except on Sunday, when the office is closed.