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Fishers Council looks to increase pay by 62 percent

 FISHERS, Ind (WISH) – Fishers city council is looking to go from one of the lowest paid Hamilton County elected bodies, to the highest.

The decision could happen Monday night. The focus of the city council meeting will be on 2017.

Outside the mayor’s budget proposal, council is expected to vote on a salary ordinance which would increase members pay from $12,000 to $19,500, which is a 62 percent increase.

“I think they’re spending a lot of our money as it is,” Fishers resident, Linda Davis said. “I don’t think they need to spend any more of our money, but I understand, costs go up.”

“That’s a lot of money,” Fishers resident, Katie Fowler said. “I know that everybody likes raises. I think we all love raises, but I think sometimes that there are more down-to-earth things that maybe we need to focus on first.”

At $12,000, Fishers City Council members get paid less than Noblesville, Carmel, and Westfield. Noblesville councilors make $17,916. In Carmel, it’s $17,238, and in Westfield, councilors make $15,000 a year.

If passed, Fishers Council members would make the most in the county, and be $8,000 more than Indianapolis City-County councilors make, which is $11,400. Council president John Weingardt is out of the area, but defended the increase to 24-Hour News 8 by phone.

“It’s sort of just to get our salaries more competitive with our other communities which surround Fishers,” Weingardt said.

2008 was the last Fishers Council pay increase. While the raise seems like a large number, Weingardt said a lot has changed.

“We’ve got a strong mayor, driving up economic development to our city, and by driving that economic development to our city, it’s requiring us to spend a lot more time on shifting through deals,” Weingardt said. “It’s not the same, “we’re just running at a different speed than we were 5, 6 years ago, or 10 years ago.”

Council is looking for a pay increase, but not a change in benefits. Right now, they aren’t offered city medical benefits. This is different from Carmel, Noblesville, Westfield and Indianapolis.