Hutto City Council engaged in extensive discussions concerning charter amendments and compensation for council members at a Feb. 1 meeting.

The gist

The city formed a Charter Review Committee in August, which subsequently made recommendations to the City Council.

The proposed charter amendment pertaining to council member compensation replaces the term "compensation" with "salary."

Council members currently receive $400 for each council meeting attended, while the mayor receives $500 per meeting. This translates to an annual salary of $10,000 for council members and $12,000 for the mayor.

Council will vote on whether to change the charter terms, in addition to other amendments, at a Feb. 15 meeting. If approved, the changes will be brought to voters on the May election ballot.

Mayor Mike Snyder said the ballot should, in addition, ask voters whether or not City Council should even receive compensation.

“We asked the public, ‘Do you want us paid through the charter or through an ordinance?’ We have never really asked the public, ‘Should we even get paid?’” Snyder said. “It's not to create a fight; it's to create a question that a lot of people still have not been able to vote on, because [City Council] kind of worded things, in my opinion, a certain way to get a certain outcome. ‘We're gonna get paid. How do you want to get paid?’”

In a vote of 6 to 1, council members shot down the motion to include the question of whether or not to be compensated on the ballot.

Looking ahead

Additional charter amendments address protocols for handling ethics complaints, the election process for the mayoral seat, the implementation of three-year term limits for council members and protocol for bond issuance.

The last day for candidates to file for the May 4 general election is Feb. 16. Council Place 2 and Council Place 5 will be up for election.