The Whitesburg City Council has voted unanimously to make the job of mayor a full-time position with an annual salary of $38,000.
The changes were approved during a special meeting last week, but will not take effect until January 2019. Kentucky law requires that salaries for elected officials be set for the upcoming term by May 1.
Mayor James Wiley Craft said the changes are needed to allow the city to have a full-time mayor who isn’t forced to work two separate jobs in order to make ends meet.
The salary increase will include an annual cost-of living adjustment based on the Kentucky Department of Local Government guidelines. Craft said that he intends to seek re-election, but whoever is elected, the city deserves a full-time mayor who can devote his or her full attention to the city’s business. Craft said he gets calls at every hour, seven days a week and responds to them the best way he can. At the council’s regular April meeting, Craft told the council that the mayor’s salary in the City of Jenkins is $47,000 a year and $35,000 a year for Hindman’s mayor.
In other business, Craft said there is no need to designate the coming 10-show Levitt AMP Concert Series as special events in order to allow for the sale of alcohol, but that each show will require a separate license to sell alcohol, which must must be filed 30 days in advance.
The free concerts will be held at the Mountain Heritage Festival Stage in Whitesburg. The first show will be held at 7 p.m. on May 31 and will feature Kentucky Hall of Fame inductee Larry Cordle, who joins forces with emerging singer-songwriter and guitarist Dave Adkins. The opening act, Sunrise Ridge, will take the stage at 6 p.m.