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Wewahitchka commissioners vote to increase their pay in upcoming fiscal year

The Wewahitchka Board of City Commissioners unanimously voted to raise their pay from about $100 per month to $500 per month in the upcoming fiscal year.

The vote came after City Clerk Rachel Jackson presented research finding that the pay provided to the Wewahitchka commissioners was significantly lower than that in many nearby municipalities.

“During the budget meeting, we had talked about adjusting your salaries, and Britany and I did some calling around just because what y’all make is relatively low,” she said. “We did call around to a bunch of different cities. Some of them we didn’t get a call back from, but the ones that we did, I put onto a spreadsheet so y’all could take a look at that and see what they’re making in comparison to what y’all make.”

The monthly commissioner salaries from several cities were read aloud from the spreadsheet by Mayor Philip Gaskin, including Blountstown ($500), Bristol ($50), Carrabelle ($480), and Port St. Joe ($1,250).

Members of the public in attendance spoke in support of the commissioners’ pay raise. The measure passed unanimously.

The county’s elected officials are also expected to get a raise in the upcoming fiscal year, though the exact amount has not yet been finalized in the county budget due to lacking information about the salary amounts set by the state.

“In a very rough calculation, you will get a little bit of a raise,” said County Budget Director Sherry Herring to the county commissioners at the county’s Sept. 18 budget meeting. “The county commissioners (pay) went up right around $2,000. The constitutional officers, except for the sheriff, went up about $7,000. And the sheriff went up around $9,000.”

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper NonDoc.com during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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