Nearly ten million people live in Georgia as of 2010. The laws governing the lives of Georgians arise from the decisions and actions of municipal government associations, at the head of many of which sits a mayor. Mayors throughout Georgia earn wildly varying salaries based on the size of the municipality and its budget. In some instances, these salaries are comparable with the national average, though this is not always the case.
Georgia Mayoral Salaries
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs collects statistics on wages earned by public employees in the state, including elected officials. Most recent statistics on mayoral salaries date to 2009 and appeared in a survey published in 2010. According to this information, mayoral salaries in Georgia range from literally nothing to $147,500, the salary of the mayor of Atlanta. A number of Georgia mayors, including those of Hephzibah, Arcade, Grayson and Varnell earned $0 in 2009, while the mayor of Rockmart earned $1. Significantly more Georgia mayors earned less than $10,000 than earned more than $10,000 annually, as of 2009. Very few earned more than $20,000.
Salary and City Size
Generally, the larger the city, the higher the mayor’s salary. The mayor of Grayson, who earned $0 in 2009, presided over a municipality of 1521 people, while the mayor of Atlanta earned $147,500 for presiding over a municipality of 540,921. Exceptions to this rule apply. The mayor of Macon, for instance, earned $100,506 in 2009 in a municipality of 92,582, while the mayor of Savannah earned $42,000 in a municipality of 134,699. Similarly, the mayor of Acworth, a city of 19,910, earned $20,400 in 2009, while the mayor of Canton, a city of 23,073, earned a mere $3000.
In some instances mayor’s salaries in Georgia reflect the national average, though in general they fall below this range. According to online salary resource PayScale, the average American mayor makes between $19,458 and $101,513 as of 2009. Many mayors in the state of Georgia make between $1000 and $10,000 as of 2009, while the mayor of Chicago makes an annual salary of $216,210 as of 2011, or approximately 1.5 times what the mayor of Atlanta, Georgia’s highest-paid mayor, earned two years earlier.
Mayors and City Council Officials
City council officials earn less money than mayors throughout Georgia in nearly all instances. City council members in Atlanta, for instance, earn $39,473 in 2009, or about 27 percent of what the mayor of Atlanta earns annually. In Acworth, city council members earn $13,200 annually, which amounts to approximately 65 percent of the salary of the mayor. The divide between mayoral salary and city council salary depends upon the laws of the municipality. In those municipalities in which the mayor earns $0, city council members generally earn the same.
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