Members of the Jersey City Council are preparing to give themselves a huge raise.

An ordinance scheduled to be introduced on Thursday would hike council salaries 29%, from $60,000 to $85,000 a year plus health and pension benefits. The council president would get an extra $5,000 per year.

This comes on top of the council voting to nearly double their salaries less than three years ago. In 2019, a council member salary was $36,1870.

City government has been on quite a personal spending spree in recent years.

Mayor Steven Fulop was given a pay hike of 39% in January so he didn't make less than the Hudson County Executive salary of $176,000.

The city council also increased the number of full-time council aides and gave them a salary boost to up to $85,000 per year.

Some council members were upset the aides could end up making more money they they did.

YouTube screengrab/Jersey City Council
YouTube screengrab/Jersey City Council
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Justifications for the big increases vary, but those who support it point to the increasing population in Jersey City and claim being a council member is no longer a part-time job. Some say they have to be on call 24/7. However, many members of the council do have another job outside government.

While all members of the council approve of the increases, in principal, there is some disagreement on how to go about it.

Councilman James Solomon tells NJ.com a salary increase is warranted, but should be done in small increments, not all at once.

There is likely to be public backlash at what could appear to be lavish spending at a time when many residents remain unemployed and struggling with rising inflation and energy costs.

Council will meet tomorrow, Feb. 24, starting at 6 p.m. Residents wishing to speak at the meeting must contact the city clerk before testifying.

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at eric.scott@townsquaremedia.com

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