Morgantown Council will consider giving itself a raise, in 2027

MORGANTOWN — Members of Morgantown City Council on Tuesday said they would like to consider giving themselves a raise. 

More accurately, they want to consider increasing pay for whomever fills council’s seven seats on and beyond July 1, 2027. 

The body will take up an ordinance increasing councilor pay from $250 to $350 and the mayor’s pay from $350 to $450 for the two regular council meetings each month. 

That equates to $8,400 annually for councilors and $10,800 for the mayor over 24 meetings. 

Members are not paid for the monthly committee of the whole meetings. 

As for the three-year delay in implementation, that’s a byproduct of the city’s move to staggered council terms. 

Morgantown’s charter allows the council to set the salary of its members, but any increases cannot become effective until after each of the voting members’ seats has been up for election. 

Because the city moved to staggered, four-year terms for council members starting in 2021, the city will have to go through two election cycles before the raises can take effect. The 2nd, 4th and 6th ward seats will be up in April 2025 and the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th ward seats will be up in April 2027. 

Assistant City Manager Emily Muzzarelli said cost of living increases and increased time commitment demands prompted the call for the first council pay raise since 2007.  

According to Muzzarelli, the city included council in its 2021-22 classification and compensation study and sought input from comparable cities in the region. 

“Of the communities that responded for council pay, only one community (Williamsport, Pa.) paid their council stipend below what Morgantown’s current council pay is. One (Parkersburg) matched us where we currently are, which is $6,000 annually or $250 a meeting,” Muzzarelli said. 

The city also received feedback from Huntington as well as Zanesville, Ohio, and Easton, Lancaster and Wilkes-Barre, in Pennsylvania. 

In other news from Tuesday’s meeting, council will consider naming the mid-block alley that runs parallel to Elysian and Madigan avenues from Mississippi Street to Lawnwood Street.  

If approved, the unnamed alley would become Mundy’s Alley, named for the 1st Ward neighborhood hangout Mundy’s Place, which first opened its doors in 1949.