A raise may soon be coming for the mayor of Eureka Springs, city clerk

EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. (KY3) – Eureka Springs Mayor Butch Berry and Clerk and Treasurer Ann Armstrong may soon receive major pay increases.

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

According to the Municipal League of Arkansas, the mayor’s salary is comparable to cities of this size.

“Comparing towns of the same population, Eureka Springs is unique in population,” said city council member Harry Meyer. “2,200 people, yes, but the mayor signs 66 paychecks.”

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

Supported by tourism, the city of Eureka Springs is a premier municipality with its police department, fire department and public works. So when city council had its first reading of an ordinance raising the mayor’s salary to $40,000, it came as no surprise to many that it was unanimously approved.

“I think Butch deserves whatever the city chooses to give him, which is a full-time job,” McKinney said. “You have something to do all the time, whether it’s a meeting you have to go to or a budget to prepare and if the council thinks they deserve it, they would know.

The city council says the raise for both positions is also beneficial to help attract qualified successors when the time comes.

“Butch is going to retire, I don’t know when,” Meyer said. “But let’s face it, someone is going to have to devote themselves full time to the job and if you’re showing up for that job at $18,000 a year, you’re not going to be waiting tables overnight.”

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

The city council will proceed to its next reading of the two ordinances at its next meeting on March 14.

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William M. Mayer