Deltona lets voters decide if leaders deserve pay raise

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DELTONA, Fla. - Deltona city leaders want voters to decide whether they deserve a pay raise -- and that's just one of many issues residents will vote on in November.

In November, Deltona voters will also decide on term limits for the mayor and commissioners, and whether the city manager should have to live within city limits

Some residents told Eyewitness News pay raises for city officials aren't necessary and the money could be spent in other ways.

"The city doesn't have any street lights, they are the darkest street I've seen in my life. There are lots of improvements that could be done," resident Walter Hearin said.

The city's mayor currently makes around $12,000 per year for the part-time job, but under the proposal he would get double that amount. Commissioners would receive more than $17,000 yearly, also twice as much as they're paid now.

Commissioner Fred Lowry said he doesn't have a stake in what voters decide, but that the elected officials deserve the raise.

"We are way behind in terms of our relationship to other cities, and in terms of our salaries and so forth," Lowry said.

In comparison, Ormond Beach's mayor and commissioners make roughly $2,000 more than Deltona's. And in Daytona Beach, the mayor makes more than $27,000, while commissioners take home nearly $17,000 per year.

"It's whatever the people think. If they think we need to bring it up to speed with other cities, that's fine. If they don't, that's fine," Lowry said.

Deltona voter Mark Hewitt told WFTV his decision will be easy.

"I'm going to vote no," Hewitt said.

Commissioners plan to hold a public hearing on the proposed changes on May 5. After that it will be up to the voters.