Duluth Mayor Don Ness will decline pay hike

Duluth, Minnesota, news and cultureLast night the Duluth City Council voted 5-3 to increase the mayor’s salary by 25 percent. The proposal was advanced by City Councilor Sharla Gardner, who said that the salary hasn’t been increased since 2000. Today, Duluth mayor Don Ness said that he would not accept the pay increase, saying that adjusting the salary might be appropriate, but only after the next election.

From Don Ness’s Facebook page:

After a long and prayerful night, Laura and I have decided not to accept the raise passed by the city council last night. I will explain my rationale later today, but I am absolutely convinced this is the right thing to do.

Thanks for all the support out there on this uncomfortable discussion. Please know that this is not at all driven in reaction to the hateful voices out there, rather it’s motivated by an overwhelming sense of being blessed by this community and not needing anything more from a community that has given us so much.

I do believe that the mayor’s salary should be adjusted – but that would be most appropriately done after the next election. I think it is very important that this important policy decision be made with the position in mind and not the person – hopefully taking this action will help separate the issue.

Don Ness has enjoyed a relatively unprecedented run of popularity in the Zenith City, facing no opposition in his last election amid an economic renewal in this Rust Belt berg.

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