Council increases Windsor mayor, council stipends

Published 6:36 pm Friday, May 26, 2023

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The Windsor Town Council voted 5-1 at its May 9 meeting to double the size of the mayoral and council member annual stipends after receiving a report that showed they had not been adjusted in at least 10 to 13 years.

The report from Windsor Town Manager William Saunders also included a spreadsheet comparing the stipends in Windsor to those in nine other Virginia towns of similar size.

Councilman David Adams cast the lone dissenting vote.

Saunder opened this agenda item by sharing the background on it.

“Town Council was interested in knowing whether the current stipends they were receiving

were appropriate and when they had last been adjusted,” he said.

Entering the May 9 meeting, the Windsor mayor received an annual stipend of $2,400, and Windsor council members received annual stipends of $1,200.

Saunders noted that the Town Council discussed the stipends at its March 28 work session, and town staff offered to conduct research on what mayors and council members in similar localities are receiving in Virginia. Further discussion took place at Council’s April 25 work session, and town staff was directed to put the item on the council’s May 9 agenda for consideration.


“The last time the mayor’s stipend was adjusted here in Windsor was fiscal year 2013,” Saunders said, paraphrasing his written staff report. “The last time that Council’s stipend was adjusted has not yet been pinned down as of this writing, but prior to (fiscal year) 2010. So for the mayor, it’s been 10 years, for Council it’s been over 13 years.”

Saunders provided council members with a spreadsheet listing mayoral and council member stipends from 10 Virginia towns with populations between 2,500 and 3,000, including Windsor, with a population of 2,746.

“Of the 10 towns represented, $4,119 is the average (pay) for mayor; $2,641 is the average pay for Council, and that included the town of Windsor in that average,” Saunders said. “Of the nine towns represented, excluding Windsor, $4,310 is the average for mayor and $2,801 is the average pay for Council.”

He said that Windsor’s FY 2024 budget draft would accommodate as much as $4,800 for the mayor and $2,400 for council members. 

“Or split in other ways, it’s a total of $19,200 in the current budget draft,” he said.


Vice Mayor J. Randy Carr said, “William, I’m the one that asked for it, so I really appreciate you digging deep and getting all the information that’s laid out in front of us.”

Saunders said Town Treasurer Cheryl McClanahan assisted in the effort.

“Do you need approval on this?” Carr asked Saunders.

“Not to put it in the budget,” Saunders replied, “but I think before we start cutting checks, you all will have to have a vote on the exact amount.”

Carr said, “I’ll make a motion to accept what you have done on the stipend and to increase it to $4,800 for the mayor and $2,400 for the council, effective immediately.”

Councilman Walter Bernacki seconded the motion, and the 5-1 vote followed.

Adams shared in a Wednesday, May 24, interview why he opted to vote “no.”

“I serve the people of Windsor without any thought of being compensated for that service,” he said. “Being a newly elected council member with less than five months in this position, I could not in good conscience vote ‘yes’ to a pay increase for myself.”