- Mayor Tom Arthur is teaching part-time, plans to make career decision in December
By the Numbers:
City, Population, Mayor's Salary (2006)
Angola, 7,344, $43,000
Brazil, 8,188, $29,700
Decatur, 9,528, $50,267
Mt. Vernon, 7,478, $26,700
Princeton, 8,175, $42,500
Tell City, 7,845, $50,297
- Do you think Mayor Arthur is underpaid for the job he has done as mayor?
- Do you think he should run for another term?
Why or why not?
E-mail your responses with contact information to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Results will be published in a future edition.
By JASON JACOBS
A recent look into mayor's salaries in Indiana cities comparable to the size of Brazil shows that Mayor Tom Arthur is compensated considerably less than most of the cities which were probed.
Mayor Arthur's 2006 salary is $29,700, nearly $13,000 less than Princeton Mayor Robert J. Hurst and more than $20,000 less than Mayor Gayle Strassell of Tell City. Both cities have a smaller population than Brazil.
"The reason it is low is because in the past, the position of mayor was basically a part-time job," Arthur said. "It is still seen that way even though it has migrated to a full-time position over the past 20 years."
The mayor now has the responsibility of putting together economic development and redevelopment proposals for the state and recently Mayor Arthur has even taken over as webmaster for the City of Brazil Web site (www.brazil.in.gov).
Arthur also said the salary for the mayor has risen a substantial amount since 1992, when the mayor was paid about $8,000 a year.
Even with the responsibilities of being mayor, Arthur has also taken on a part-time teaching position at Cumberland Academy for a couple hours each day. He teaches two Algebra classes and conducts an independent study Business Math course.
Arthur had been a teacher for the 6 1/2 years prior to becoming mayor in January 2004, and is taking on the task for multiple reasons.
"Part of it is for financial help, but it is mainly my test to see if I would want to go back to teaching," Arthur said. "I enjoy being with the kids, however, if I should lose the next election or decide not to run, I wanted to make sure I could deal with the politics of teaching before I jump back into teaching."
Arthur has not yet made a decision on what he will do, but knows it will come around the middle of December.
Although Arthur believes that he and other members of the local government deserve more money, he thinks the state should not attempt to mandate a salary range based on the population of the city, and the local community and government should say in charge of determining his salary.
"There is no doubt in my mind that every level deserves an increase in salary, but with our budget, we just cannot afford it at this time," Arthur said. "However, we are in the process of trying to make improvements, but we have to take little steps to get there."
Calls to City Council members were not returned.