Huntsville City Council members are considering giving Mayor Tommy Battle a big pay raise. It could be up to $43,000 a year. If the mayor gets a raise that means council members will get more money too.
Right now, Mayor Battle makes a little more than $132,000 a year. That's right in the middle for salaries of mayors in other cities around the same size as Huntsville.
When Mayor Battle walks through the doors at city hall he's not the highest-paid employee. This raise would change that.
Doug Hale has lived in Huntsville for more than fifty years. He supports the mayor getting a raise, "what he's done in this beautiful city, absolutely," said Hale.
The resolution calls for Mayor Battle to receive the highest pay grade and the highest step on the cities pay scale.
Right now, that is $167,000 but the city council will soon decide if they will change the pay scale. If they do that would make the max potential pay for Mayor Battle $175,000. Mayor Battle has not asked for the raise.
That raised questions for Huntsville resident Andrew Hatzfeld, "if he's not asking for it why are we doing it? Do I think he's deserving of it? Yes. Did he ask for it? No," said Hatzfeld.
City Council President Devyn Keith created the resolution. He told WAAY 31 he was out of town and could not answer our questions Friday night. City Councilman Will Culver told WAAY 31 the move is to make sure Mayor Battle is given the financial respect of being the highest-paid city employee.
If the city council approves the pay increase council members also get the increase because their salaries are directly tied to Mayor Battle's.
Hale does not see that as a problem, "that is not their reason to get a raise themselves. That is an incidental matter. They're doing this because they believe that Tommy Battle and look at the job he's done," said Hale.
WAAY 31 is working to find out when the city council will vote on this resolution. If council members end up approving it the increase will happen on November 2nd, 2020 for the next mayoral term.