By Perry Schaible
MASON - After weeks of debate, City Council has approved a 32 percent raise for the clerk of courts in a 4-3 decision.
The vote Monday night means Clerk William Scherpenberg will receive $66,000 in 2004, an increase of $16,000 - $9,600 of which comes from the city's budget.
Council approved a court-ordered request, excluding the clerk of courts position, in January that allowed the Mason Municipal Court to restructure several positions and salaries.
Councilman Tom Grossmann said he supported the raise because Scherpenberg performs both the clerk and bailiff positions for the court.
Judge George Parker "created a position that nobody else has, doing services that nobody else has," he said.
Other city employees were given a 5 percent increase for the year.
"I can't justify seeing a position receiving more than 5 percent," said Councilman John McCurley.
Parker streamlined his department to meet budget for 2004 in part by deleting positions and adding responsibility to others.
The decision goes into effect in 30 days and will be retroactive to Jan. 1.
Council also approved $25,000 for City Prosecutor Robert Peeler to create another clerical position.
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