By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun
The Tucumcari City Commission approved a $9,000 annual increase to salaries for the mayor and commissioners.
The vote was four to one in favor of giving the mayor a $4,800 annual salary and commissioners a $3,600 annual wage.
The salaries are currently $2,700 for the mayor and $2,100 for a commissioner.
The increased salaries will make it more attractive to candidates to run for a commission seat, said Mayor Antonio Apodaca.
Apodaca, who has served on the commission for 12 years, said it was time for someone else to serve and that he did not plan to seek re-election.
Apodaca added the increase may compensate for the “mud that’s thrown at you from one side one day, and from the other side the next day.”
Commissioner Jim Lafferty was the sole holdout. “I cannot give myself a raise,” Lafferty said.
Instead of the funds being used for salary increases, they could have gone for travel, education and other commissioner expenses, Lafferty said.
The increase in salaries is effective after the 2008 municipal election, according to the ordinance.
The mayoral post is determined by an election among commissioners, not by a general election.
City commissioners are not allowed to vote an increase for themselves. The raises will take effect at the expiration of the current commissioner’s term of office, Lafferty said.