A Herald-Dispatch story reporting about how the Huntington City Council this week approved pay increases for the positions of mayor and City Council members starting in 2021 attracted dozens of comments on Facebook, with most criticizing the size of the increase for the mayor’s position.

By a vote of 11-0, council members approved raising the mayor position’s annual salary from $85,000 to $114,500 beginning in 2021, after next year’s municipal elections. They also approved a 6% pay increase for future city council members in 2021. Council members currently make up to $7,200 a year.

Here is a sampling of comments from readers:

Lucretia Webb: “I thought positions like these are for serving the people. That’s a little much. I would love making $85,000.00 a year. ..”

n n n

Jim Tranchina: “Wow! The mayor of Huntington will be making more that the governors of the following states: Maine at $70,000, Colorado at $90,000, Arizona at $95,500, Oregon at $98,600, and Kansas at $99,636. It sure pays to be the mayor of Huntington!”

n n n

Mary Graham Meadows: “I’m not in Huntington, but please tell me how anyone could possibly deserve this kind of salary in a city full of drugs and violence? I know he alone cannot rid the city of these faults, but please don’t reward him!”

n n n

Brandi Day: “I agree that those salary increases are excessive, but, for those of you who question whether or not your mayor is effective, let me tell you that he is a brilliant ambassador for the city. ... he is an important voice in the region and the nation in the fight against opioid abuse. His efforts have brought more funding to your state because he inspires confidence. ... Because of him, Huntington doesn’t seem like a throw-away city lost to drugs, but a community pulling together to fight for its future with the same spirit that once helped them overcome a tragic plane crash. ...”

n n n

Laura Dice Hill: “He totally deserves it. I don’t really agree that raises can get approved that way, but (he) and his team have done so much for Huntington including winning grants to help change the economy and health outcomes. It takes some time but it’s happening.”

n n n

Bessie Bailey Vanover: “Many people in Huntington don’t make $29,000 a year, yet he gets that much in a raise ... public service is hard, the work never ends, but it is just that PUBLIC SERVICE! Serve your public!”

n n n

Kaylen Barker: “Many large cities have mayors that make less than that. That is excessive and a smack in the face to the taxpayers of Huntington ... with a median income of roughly $29,000.”

n n n

Angela Adkins: “I believe in keeping up with the economy on pay raises, but that’s a $29,000 hike.”

n n n

Jane Wood Nicholson: “Meanwhile, the ;worker bees’ are lucky to get anything. I think the biggest raise I ever received was 4%.”

n n n

Josh Spurgeon: “OK, a normal pay raise might look like $85,000 to $89,000. Not a $30,000 raise.”

n n n

John Edwin Armstrong: “Pay raises for government officials should always be something that the voters have to go to the polls to approve. Make the government officials actually have to campaign to the public why they deserve a raise.”

n n n

J.T. Wilkes: “... This doesn’t take effect until 2021, after the next election. Steve Williams has done a phenomenal job with the city. Hopefully he gets re-elected because he’s moving us in the right direction. ... because of him, Huntington has been bailed out. To dismiss the work he’s done is absolutely ignorant.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.