Salary increase may soon happen for Eureka Springs mayor, city clerk

Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 5:13 PM CST
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EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. (KY3) - Eureka Springs Mayor Butch Berry and City Clerk and Treasurer Ann Armstrong may soon receive significant salary increases.

The Eureka Springs City Council voted unanimously on February 28 to approve the first reading of an ordinance raising the mayor’s salary from $18,000 annually to $40,000. A separate 4-0 vote approved the first reading of an ordinance raising the city clerk/treasurer’s pay from $30,500 to $48,000.

According to the Arkansas Municipal League, the mayor’s salary is on par with towns this size.

”The comparing cities of the same population, Eureka Springs is unique in the population,” said city council member Harry Meyer. “2,200 people, yeah, but the mayor signs 66 paychecks.“

”Eureka Springs is an interesting place to be mayor of, I think there have been five or six mayors in Eureka since the time I’ve been in Berryville,” said respective Mayor of Tim McKinney, who has held office for over 30 years. “Especially in a small town, you’re mayor 24 hours a day. If you go out to eat or to Walmart, you usually get approached by people and that’s a good thing.”

Backed by tourism, the city of Eureka Springs is a first-class municipality with its police department, fire department, and public works. So when the city council had its first reading of an ordinance increasing the mayor’s salary to $40,000, it didn’t come as a surprise to many it was approved unanimously.

“I think Butch deserves whatever the city chooses to give him, its a full time job,” said McKinney. “You’ve got something to do all the time, whether its a meeting to go to or budget to prepare and if city council thinks he deserves that, they would know be

The city council says the increase for both positions is also beneficial in helping attract qualified successors, whenever that time may come.

”Butch is going to retire, I’m not sure when,” said Meyer. “But lets face it somebody is going to have to devote full time to the job and if you run for that job at $18,000 a year, you’re not going to wait tables at night.“

A notable rule in the state of Arkansas is a mayor’s salary can be increased at any time but never decreased.

City council will have its next reading of both ordinances at its next meeting on March 14.

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