The Leesburg Town Council last week approved annual pay increases for the mayor and council members, equal to any Cost of Living Adjustment they approve for town employees.
Currently, the mayor is paid a stipend of $16,200 a year, and council members are paid $15,600 per year, disbursed in monthly installments.
The increase passed with little discussion at the June 14 meeting. Mayor Kelly Burk and council members Neil Steinberg, Marty Martinez and Ara Bagdasarian voted in favor; Suzanne Fox, Zach Cummings and Kari Nacy voted against.
Virginia law allows for paying mayors and town council members, as well as providing them with same benefits, such has health insurance, provided to town employees by the town. A provision preventing a council from enacting a pay increase during current term in office is not applied to councils such as Leesburg’s with staggered terms.
The first raise will go into effect on July 1 with the beginning of the town’s fiscal year 2023; town employees and, now the town council and mayor, will receive a 2% COLA.
The Board of Supervisors, which unlike the town does not see its powers drawn out in a town charter, in 2017 to raise board salaries, but did not find that they have the authority to tie those raises to anything else such as an annual COLA. The board, which does not have staggered terms, also is not permitted to enact those raises during its own term.