Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

August 21, 2012

City eyes annual raises for officials

TAHLEQUAH — Tahlequah city councilors mulled increases to the pay of three elected officials during Monday night’s special meeting.

Councilors initially discussed the raises earlier this month after asking Mayor Jason Nichols to prepare an ordinance to increase the three officials’ salaries by 3 percent each year for four years. The raises would not begin to take effect until May 2013.

“There is some information in your packet that is labeled the ‘mayor’s proposal.’ It is not the mayor’s proposal; it is the council’s requested data,” said Nichols. “The mayor has no proposal, and simply wants no part of this particular ordinance. It’s entirely up to you all to figure out what you want to do with it, but I did provide the data you asked for.”

Under the initial proposal, the city clerk, street commissioner and chief of police would receive 3 percent increases each year starting in May 2013. By the fourth year of the increases, the city clerk would be making $40,518, while the chief of police and street commissioner would each make $54,587 per year. The city treasurer would make $12,000 per year.

The second proposal, submitted by City Clerk Deb Corn, includes a 5 percent increase for elected officials for the first year and 3 percent increases each year for the following three years. Under her plan, the city clerk would be making $41,305 by the fourth year, while the street commissioner and chief of police would be making $55,647 per year. The city treasurer would make $12,000 per year.

The city clerk is now paid $36,000 per year, while the street commissioner and police chief draw $48,500, all excluding benefits. The treasurer gets $12,000 per year.

City Treasurer Lanny Williams told the council he was “pleased” with his compensation, and wasn’t requesting a yearly raise.

“The treasurer is pleased, and the chief of police [Clay Mahaney] has indicated the same, so I’ll leave it to the Corns to carry the ball here,” Nichols said, referring to Deb Corn and her husband, Street Commissioner Mike Corn.

“What’s the chief’s reason for not asking?” Mike asked.

Mahaney wasn’t at Monday night’s meeting, but Nichols said Mahaney is “apparently satisfied” with his compensation.

“He didn’t tell you one way or the other?” Corn asked.

“He said, ‘I’m happy where I’m at,’ I believe were his exact words, so I chose to rephrase it as ‘satisfied,’” said Nichols.

Councilor Diane Weston said she believes the council should pass an ordinance increasing the police chief’s salary each year, even if Mahaney is satisfied.

“He may not be chief forever, and this is going to affect somebody else,” said Weston.

Nichols said the initial proposal with a yearly 3 percent increase is intended to “match up” elected officials’ salaries to the 3 percent increases city employees can get each year with a positive evaluation. The alternate proposal is similar, he said, but also tries to compensate for a “perceived lack of increase that occurred over the last four years.”

Councilor Linda Spyres said she’d like to see the city clerk’s salary increased to the amount proposed under Deb Corn’s plan, and that she’d approve of the street commissioner and chief of police’s salaries being increased under the 3-percent-per-year plan.

Councilior Jack Spears said he supports adopting Deb Corn’s plan across the board, rather than taking bits of both proposals. But he also requested the board not act on the issue so Councilman Maurice Turney – who was absent – can express his opinion.

Councilors asked that the proposal from Deb Corn be brought back before the board at the next council meeting.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered everyday to your home or office. Code for E-EDITION TRIAL OR SUBSCRIBE Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition.

It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

Text Only
Local News
  • ths-jazz-2.jpg THS jazz band gets up early to hone performance skills

    It means getting up an hour earlier, and it doesn’t count as a class, but the jazz band at Tahlequah High School enjoys the dedication of a group of enthusiastic students.
    The THS Jazz Band practices every day at 7 a.m., an hour before the start of classes. It numbers 17, and is led by Director Orien Landis.
    “They have to do this before school and they get no class credit, but we have a full band,” Landis said. “They are really excited about this.”

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Easter-basket-kid.jpg Easter traditions date back centuries

    Some Christians may lament a partial shift of focus, but a Christian holy day - perhaps the most holy of all – is this Sunday, and it will be marked with celebrations all around the world.
    The Christian holiday of Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. For centuries, the observant have fasted, reflected or done penance in the weeks leading to the holiday. But today, many also associate the holiday with the Easter bunny, candy, and kites. In 2013, Americans spent $2.1 billion on Easter candy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Some oppose minimum wage hike; others decry strong-arming by state

    President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate recently announced a push to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour, to $10.10. On the heels of the announcement, an initiative petition was introduced in Oklahoma City to raise the minimum wage to the suggested $10.10. If it gained 80,000 signatures, it would be put to a vote of the people.
    This legislative session, a bill passed prohibiting municipalities from setting a minimum was or vacation and sick-day requirements. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the bill into law earlier this week.

    April 18, 2014

  • Phone scam takes $500 from couple

    Authorities are warning Cherokee County residents to watch for a costly phone scam that recently targeted a local couple and ended in their loss of $500.
    According to sheriff’s deputies, a couple contacted authorities after losing $500 to the scam. The couple received a phone call from a man who identified himself only as “Mr. Green.” He told the couple they had won $1.5 million through Publisher’s Clearing House, but to collect the money, the couple would have to purchase a $500 money card to cover various fees.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missing local teen found dead

    The body of a missing 17-year-old boy was found in southern Cherokee County on Thursday, sheriff’s investigators said.
    Brikk Pritchett was reported missing earlier this month after disappearing on March 30, a day before his 17th birthday.

    April 18, 2014

  • ts honor flight 1.tif Flight of honor

    World War II veteran Charles Harra flew missions for the Army Air Corps, and if you ask him which flight was his most memorable, he’ll say it was his 35th mission.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged after leading authorities on wild chase

    Prosecutors have formally charged a man who allegedly led authorities on a wild high-speed pursuit across Cherokee County in late March.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sex offender bonds out after failing to register

    A Cherokee County man is out on bond after being arrested last week for failing to register as a sex offender.

    April 17, 2014

  • jn radiator shop.jpg ‘Greenbelt’ progressing

    Crews this week began to demolish an abandoned radiator shop at the corner of South Street and Guinn Avenue.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts slut walk.tif SlutWalk shines spotlight on crime

    “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape; slut, slut, ho, ho, yes means yes and no means no!”
    This was the battle cry across the campus of Northeastern State University, as the student branch of the American Association of University Women held its third annual SlutWalk Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest