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Vienna Town Council narrowly OKs first salary increases in years

Councilmember Ed Somers proposes raising the mayor and council salaries by 50% (via Town of Vienna)

When 2024 comes around, Vienna’s mayor and town council will see a bump up in pay for the first time in years.

In a close 4-3 vote, the council approved 50% salary increases during its meeting on Monday (Jan. 9) that would raise the mayor’s annual pay to $11,250 and pay for town council members to $7,500.

In both cases, the increases are smaller than what town staff had recommended, keeping Vienna’s salaries for the positions below other similarly sized towns and cities in Northern Virginia.

“There’s so many things we want to do, and one of the things this council prides itself on is being fiscally responsible and setting priorities,” said Councilmember Ed Somers, who proposed those numbers. “…We are coming under what our staff was recommending as a total number. I think by doing it with an even percentage for council and for the mayor, that seems fair and understandable to the public.”

Vienna has paid its mayor $7,500 since 2014. The council’s annual salary has stayed flat at $5,000 since 2002.

Town staff suggested last month that the salaries be raised to $15,000 for the mayor and $12,000 for council members. That would bring them closer to the towns of Herndon and Leesburg, which both approved pay raises last year.

A comparison of salaries for council members and mayors in Northern Virginia (via Town of Vienna)

At the Dec. 12 conference session, however, some council members seemed hesitant support to significant raises amid an uncertain economic climate, suggesting that Vienna should narrow the gap between the mayor and council salaries.

Councilmembers Nisha Patel, Ray Brill and Howard Springsteen voted against the raises on Monday, though they didn’t provide explanations during the meeting. FFXnow didn’t get responses to requests for comment by press time.

After previously coming in May, Vienna’s elections for mayor and town council will be held on Nov. 7 after the Virginia General Assembly passed a law moving all municipal elections to November.

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