ROCHESTER, Minn. - It's not easy to get a raise, especially a hefty one like City Councilmembers got, and it's leaving people talking.
"I got raises every year for the last 6 years, but it's been dollar amounts and dollar amounts don't really mean that much," Richard Zeitler said.
Former Mayor Ardell Brede doesn't agree with the decision.
"Inappropriate to do it, I agree there should be a salary increase," Brede said. "Most of the employees get an increase almost every year, those are oftentimes in that 2-5 percent."
Why did Brede never ask for a bigger pay raise?
"I just didn't think it was appropriate we needed to do that," Brede said. "I was satisfied, of course, I was in a position where I already retired. I was getting social security money."
At first Councilmember Patrick Keane was against the raises - but as a compromise - he voted in favor of a lower raise.
"It's painful to go through," Keane said. "It really has rocked some of the people who live in the city and they are uncomfortable with it, it's politically difficult because of that, it hurts our ability to go forward."
Councilmember Shaun Palmer voted "no" and is standing firm.
"It's not a full-time job, I work 25-30 hours a week, if I have a full-time job, I'm fighting for my next job, I want to fight for my neighbors and work for my neighbors and not work for my next job," Palmer said.
Brede remains critical.
"If it's too much for you, the amount of hours isn't going to change because of what you are going to get paid," Brede said.
"Residents are understanding of the desire for a raise, but less accepting of the percentage.
"It's fair to give yourselves a raise, but not a huge raise, just a moderate," Zeitler said.