New Castle Mayor Wayne Alexander is taking a pay freeze, but the new budget shows an increase in his salary.





The reason is that city ordinance does not provide for wage freezes of elected officials. So, instead of going through the process of amending the ordinance, city council decided to increase the mayor's salary by $1,497 in the 2006 budget and have him return it to the general fund.





Following are some other actions taken by council in adopting the budget on Dec. 28:





*Eliminated one of three meter enforcement officers proposed by the mayor, therefore, decreasing salaries for those positions by $13,130. Alexander argued the position will be needed, particularly when a new restaurant opens in Cascade Center at the Riverplex next year.





Someone will be needed to staff the booth in the parking lot across Mill Street from the restaurant, he said. Council members suggested the office manager for parking could staff the booth when necessary.





*Changed health officer/code officer to health officer and cut the salary from $37,932 to $15,545. The reason for the cut, business administrator Tammi Gibson said, is that Gary Bonelli will be performing only health officer duties.





*Added the position of code officer at a salary of $25,000.





*Increased the council contingency account from $69,852, which was proposed by the mayor, to $114,852.



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