Two Council members who had been previously undecided about taking a cost-of-living raise in July have both been receiving the extra cash all summer, according to city payroll records.
Councilwoman Cindy Bass said she will be keeping the 2.8 percent COLA raise, which was available to elected officials and some administration members on July 1. Still, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell said she will give the money back, but hasn’t decided where to donate it – be it to charity or the city’s general fund.
Mayor Nutter is giving back the COLA, but seven other Council members are taking the cash. Elected officials are eligible for the COLA — cost of living adjustment — under a 2003 law, which grants annual raises based on the rate of inflation as determined by the increase in the Consumer Price Index. This year that works out to 2.8 percent, or $3,365 for most Council members.
Most of the veteran Council members and other elected officials have passed on some raises and/or given money back over the past four years. While Bass is taking the COLA, she does not take a city car.