South Bend City Clerk Kareemah Fowler got almost all that she wanted.
Her salary will now be $69,500 after Council members voted 6-3 to give her the raise. Three Democrats opposed the raise: Oliver Davis, Dave Varner, and John Voorde.
Fowler initially asked for a $14,000 raise, claiming that she does more work than her previous salary called for.
The city controller is getting a 17 percent raise, the lead city attorney a 22 percent raise, and the parks director is getting a 23 percent raise. Those raises also passed by a 6-3 margin, with Regina Williams-Preston, Varner, and Davis opposed this time.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg defended the raises, saying they’re meant to help attract and retain talent. He told the South Bend Tribune that city staff needs to be paid “in a way that is competitive with what people make in comparable positions in other cities.”
The city also approved a new Teamsters contract by a unanimous 9-0 vote. That contract calls for a 2 to 2.5 percent raise in 2017, then 1.5 to 2 percent raises in the following three years.
The overall $369 million budget passed by a vote of 7-2 and includes $85 million for public safety, $88 million for economic development and $63 million for neighborhood improvements.