Big Raise for Scranton’s Next Mayor?

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SCRANTON -- Scranton's mayor thinks the next person to occupy his office deserves a raise.

So, before Chris Doherty leaves office, he's asking city council to increase the mayor's salary by $30,000. After all, he reasons, the mayor in Scranton hasn't has a raise since the 1980's.

It's not a job he does for the money, but Doherty said his $50,000 a year salary may keep a quality candidate from coming to city hall.

"I think maybe because it's so below what the average is. It's not even close for what the other mid-sized cities have, and I think since it's been 24 years it's important for Scranton to be like all the other mid-sized cities in the state," said Doherty.

Before he leave office next year, Mayor Doherty's asking City Council to give his successor a raise that makes the mayor's income up to par with the rest of Pennsylvania's mayors.

He's asking to increase the mayor's salary to the average pay of mayors in similarly sized cities, $80,000.

It's about time, Doherty said, since the salary hasn't increased since before Mayor Jim Connors took office in 1990. Just how the problems facing the Electric City have changed since then, so has the cost of living.

"It's more than that too, you want to attract people who can do the job and have the skill level, and you have to pay more," added Doherty.

Newswatch 16 talked to some city residents who have lived in Scranton for a while. Some said two decades without a raise is too long.

"Drastically underpaid, I think the salary should be raised. I think the mayor of a city this size with the problems that a city this size has, should make a lot more," said Bill Little of Scranton.

"They're worth $80,000, that's a lot of responsibility. If you want quality you got to pay for it," added Bob Klein.

Others think though that a quality public servant can go without $30,000 raise.

"It's fair enough, look at all the other groups that get things cut from them, like senior citizens," said Shelby Rivera.

Mayor Doherty said Scranton City Council can make changes to his proposal. Council will vote on the mayor's salary increase in the next few weeks.