MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) – A big pay raise is on the table for the Monroe mayor’s position for the next term. City council members approved the proposal on a controversial 3 to 2 vote. Council members Kema Dawson, Carday Marshall, Sr. and Douglas Harvey voted in favor.
Gretchen Ezernack and Juanita Woods voted against it.

“This raise has not been given in over 20 years regardless if it’s a 5 percent or 2 percent. People work. You work hard, and you want to get rewarded for it,” said councilman for district 5, Kema Dawson.

“Some of the concerns are sustainability for the future and what that does to the services that we provide and what that does to our people. I just can not support it, so I’m going to have to say no,” said councilwoman for district 2 Gretchen Ezernack.

The mayor’s new position pay will increase to $130,000. That is $40,000 more since it was last increased in 2003. Meanwhile, Ezernack, Marshall and Juanita Woods failed to pass a pay raise for council members.

“Our city, with what’s going on in the world today economically, we don’t know if we can continue to have our sales tax revenues that we projected. Those are our main sources of income. So, personally, I just dont think, for me, I’m going to be able to support it at this time,” explained Ezernack.

“I knew exactly what I was getting into. I’m going to continue to do what I do. I’m fine with it, but personally I’m not going to be able to support it either,” said councilwoman district 3, Juanita Woods.

The mayor’s pay raise will go into effect the next term in 2024.