RIPON – Ripon Councilman Chuck Winn wanted to take a $25 cut in his monthly compensation and encouraged his colleagues Tuesday to do likewise.
In the past three years, the Ripon City Council salaries have twice been reduced – 1.8 percent in April 2009 and again in June 2010 – on commensurate with those cuts imposed to city employees and staff in the economic downtown.
Winn, however, was notified by City Attorney Tom Terpstra that certain statutes prohibit the current council from lowering benefits that may affect that of the newly elected member.
“Once elected (into office), you have certain vested rights,” said Terpstra, indicating that any newcomer would be entitled to pay and insurance benefits.
The seats currently occupied by Mayor Elden ‘Red’ Nutt, Charlie Gay and Garry Krebbs are up for grabs in November. Nutt, for one, has already announced that he’s seeking re-election.
Meanwhile, Winn sees such cuts as symbolic.
“In recognizing reduction to all employees that the City has taken the last three years – albeit marginal – it would be my wish that we take a volunteer reduction in pay,” he said.
Council, incidentally, had no problem taking further cuts.
“I wouldn’t have mind taking an additional $25 off (per month) to go along with our reductions of the past few years,” Krebbs said.
Terpstra noted that talks from Winn’s proposal could be revisited at a future council meeting as concessions to a possible “two-tier salary structure,” he said.