ASHLAND — Ashland City Council approved 2% year-to-year increases to salaries and wages for the law director, finance director and council members during a special meeting on Thursday.

The wage and salary increases were part of an agenda that involved making temporary appropriations as the city heads into 2023, and approving an $18,000 transfer from the city’s Police 60 fund to its equipment fund.

Increasing wage and salary amounts for elected officials is done on odd election years, so that the increases only become effective after a successful election.

In other words, the following wage increases do not become effective until the following year, in January 2024:

Director of Finance

• 2024 = $85,000

• 2025 = $86,700

• 2026 = $88,434

• 2027 = $90,202

Director of Law

• 2024 = $90,000

• 2025 = $91,800

• 2026 = $93,636

• 2027 = $95,509

Members of Council

• 2024 = $9,000

• 2025 = $9,180

• 2026 = $9,364

• 2027 = $9,551

Councilman Dennis Miller said he believes the pay hikes are fair.

“We are doing this for the position, not for the people,” Miller said. “We’re doing to help retain and attract qualified individuals.”

Miller said the salaries of elected officials such as the director of finance and director of law “pales in comparison” to what those people could earn in the private sector.

Finance Director Larry Paxton said the relatively small tweaks to the budget heading into 2023 serves as testament to the city’s department heads’ resourcefulness.

“We had a good year — a very good year,” Paxton said.

Thursday’s move comes after council appropriated an additional $1,250,000 for the city’s income tax fund to match 2022’s unexpected growth in income tax revenue — an indicator Paxton sees as good news for the local economy.

Paxton said he is still working on finalizing the 2023 appropriations. The 2022 appropriations bill was finalized and approved by council in February.

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