OKC City Councilman Proposes Tripling Salaries For Members, Mayor
OKLAHOMA CITY - An OKC City Council member is warning that paying city leaders a low wage could lead to pay-offs and bribes.
Councilman Ed Shadid is now proposing tripling the salaries for council members and the mayor.
Right now, each council member makes $12,000 a year, and the mayor makes $24,000.
“You've got millionaires and billionaires parading in front of people who are not making a living wage. Over enough decades, you have the potential for corruption. So, in a way, I think paying people a living wage is a protection for the taxpayer,” said Shadid.
Shadid’s proposal would make council members wages nearly $37,000, and the mayor would make $74,000.
“If you want someone to do this job well and you want the largest number of people running for this office, you have to pay a living wage or else you are going to restrict the number of people who can serve,” said Shadid.
Shadid is also proposing allowing full-time state and federal employees to serve on city council.
Newly-elected member James Cooper, a middle school teacher, has to go part time at his school by April 9, when he's sworn into city council.
“We have a lot of teachers who are very knowledgeable already serving in their classrooms, and they want to serve in their communities,” said Cooper.
For the changes to occur, both need to be approved in a citywide vote that could happen in the summer or in December 2019.
Shadid will make his proposal at Tuesday’s city council meeting.