St. Louis Board of Aldermen vote to double salary, bill heads to mayor’s desk

Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 12:00 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted to double their salary Friday.

The final vote was 15 for, 8 against and 1 abstention. The plan would double the salary from about $36,000 to $72,000. It would go into effect in April, when the board shrinks from 28 members to 14. Alderpersons are expected to work 32 hours a week.

Not everyone is on board. Alderman Joe Vaccaro says the bill is unfair to other city employees.

“It’s wrong,” Vaccaro said. “If you’re in this for the money, you’re in this for the wrong reason.”

Vaccaro cited his son and daughter who work for the police department and, he says, don’t make enough. The St. Louis Police Officers’ Association sent a statement denouncing the vote.

“That is a slap in the face to every Police Officer as well as to every other St. Louis City employee,” the statement said in part. “St. Louis does not have a problem finding politicians; it has a problem staffing police cars,”

The pay raise will put St. Louis in line with other similar-sized cities in the region, including Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. St. Louis Aldermen would make roughly $20,000 more than councilmembers in Wichita, a larger city.

Alderwoman Sharon Tyus was first elected to the board in the early 90s. She supported the raises, arguing the position is a full-time job, and the pay should reflect that.

“Just because I don’t want to make the most money, doesn’t mean I, after all these years, shouldn’t make some kind of money,” Tyus said.

“If we’re going to be a competitive 21st century city, we need to pay everybody a competitive rate,” Alderwoman Carol Howard said.

The bill heads to the desk of Mayor Tishaura Jones. News 4 reached out to her office for comment, and a spokesperson says they are still reviewing the bill.