Some asking why Cabot mayor is not city's highest-paid official

After the city council on Monday passed a record budget, aldermen wondered out loud why Mayor Stumbaugh is making $6,000 less than his public works director.

BYJOAN MCCOY
Leader staff writer

___The Cabot City Council, on Monday night, unanimously passed a $10.9 million budget for 2005, about $500,000 more than the 2004 budget. The budget in-cludes $4,000 raises for the mayor and city clerk and a $5,000 raise for the city attorney.
___ Those raises are in addition to the 5 percent raises all city employees received this year.
___ Aldermen Eddie Cook and Tom Armstrong, who served on the budget committee, said in December that it was unseemly for the mayor to make less than some of the employees he oversees.
___ But even after his hefty pay raise, Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh still will be paid less than the public works director, who is paid $60,377 and the city engineer who is paid $54,366.
___ Under the new budget the mayor, city clerk and city attorney will be paid respectively $53,238, $44,462 and $60,427. The budget also includes pay raises of $100 a month for the city's eight council members, bringing their yearly salaries to $5,505.
___ Alderman David Polantz asked for the increase during the December budget meeting, saying it was getting hard to find anyone to run for city council and the extra pay might be an incentive.
___ The budget also includes the salaries for three new police officers and three new firefighters.
___ As it was presented to council members Monday night, the budget contained more than $1.5 million in expenses in the wastewater and street departments that was not funded. Polantz asked that the proposed expenditures be included in the budget as the beginning of a five-year plan for city expenditures.
___ Alderman Armstrong said the column of figures was confusing and requested that they be taken out. The request became an amendment that was added to the budget before it was passed. In other business, the council approved rezoning the site of the Honey Pot Daycare at 2120 W. Main from R-1 to C-2.
___ Polantz questioned the wisdom of the rezoning on the side of the street with no other commercial property.
___ The daycare operated in residential under a special use permit. "The only thing I worry about is when the commercial jumps the street, the whole thing can go," he said.
___ The vote was not a roll call vote and Polantz did not speak as it was taken. The council unanimously approved rezoning property located at 710 N. Second from R-1 to C-2. Once occupied by Cabot Small Engine, the property will become a bakery shop.
___ The council did not vote on asking for requests for qualifications for professional engineering services to identify and correct infiltration and inflow problems with sewer lines in the city.
___ Instead, the council agreed that the new public utilities commission should advertise for an engineer.