Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - After considerable discussion at its Monday night meeting, the Rochester City Council approved some hefty pay raises for the mayor and council members.

The issue first surfaced at the council’s previous meeting when member Michael Wojcik asked staff to return with a recommendation.

At Monday night’s meeting, he recalled a previous effort by the council to appoint a citizen commission to recommend salary increases that was vetoed by then-mayor Ardell Brede. Wojcik said he was upset at the time but later agreed with the mayor that salary decisions should be made entirely by the council.

Councilmember Mark Bilderback also supported the large increase, saying higher salaries may encourage more people to run for office. He and Mayor Kim Norton also responded to critics about what is perceived to be a part-time job, saying they are more equivalent to fulltime positions.

The mayor’s salary will be raised to $78,840, Council President $60,444, and Councilmembers $52,560.

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