Councilmen Kenneth Boudreaux and Brandon Shelvin will be making $2,317 more than their peers on the council in the coming year. This week, Boudreaux and Shelvin were the only two council members to take advantage of an annual pay raise option. By charter, council members are given the option of accepting a salary increase each year, up to a max 10 percent increase over the course of each four-year term. This year, council members had the option to either accept the entire 10 percent raise, accept a portion of it, or to take no raise. Both Boudreaux and Shelvin opted for the entire 10 percent, meaning that their annual salaries will now go up from $23,170 to $25,487. All other seven council members opted not to take any raise. Those council members will still have the option to accept a salary increase in each of the remaing years of their term, up to the max ten percent.
Council Chairman Don Bertrand says he wasn’t comfortable accepting any raise yet but didn’t rule it out in the future. “ I knew what I was getting paid when I came in,” he says. "I haven’t even been [in office] a year yet. Once I’m there after a period of time I’ll take a look at what my constitutents think my performance is and the amount of time and effort that I’m putting into it and I’ll have a look at that over the next year.”
For his part, Councilman Boudreaux noted that staff employees are getting up to 14 percent salary increases this year. “We’re eligible for it,” he says. "I think it goes into the effort that you put forward. I’ve spoken to some constituents about it. When you conduct the number of meetings that I have, respond to the number of issues that I have, the after hour activities, I think you can justify it or you cannot, in my case I felt I could. I think I'm the hardest working councilman on the staff."