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City Council members will continue to have their pay increased automatically, at least for the time being.

Council Member Rory Diamond is trying to put a stop to it, but lost one bid Tuesday when the council voted down his measure, called NOPE for No Obligatory Pay Enlargement.

For anyone curious, this was the vote:

Voting yes: White, Ferraro, Salem, Carrico, Cumber, Becton, Diamond

Voting no: Carlucci, DeFoor, Pittman, Morgan, Dennis, Newby, Hazouri, Priestly-Jackson, Gaffney.

The stated reasons for voting to continue automatic pay raises ranged from the lame to the ridiculous.

One said low pay might keep some people from running for the council. (It’s a part-time job.)

Members may decline the pay increases and some have.

Matt Carlucci, chairman of the Finance Committee and owner of an insurance agency, did not take a pay raise during his first two terms on the council or during his current term and has declined the raise for next year.

“I don’t feel comfortable telling people they can’t have a raise if I don’t know what their finances are,” Carlucci said.

Members would not be denied a raise by the NOPE bill. They would just have to vote up or down for a raise.

Truth is, the majority of the council members don’t want to have to vote on giving themselves a pay raise.

It isn’t enough that they can get a pay increase whenever they want – they also want to get it without voting.

Diamond said he will file another bill during the budget process to require a vote on a pay raise.

He also has asked the Office of the General Counsel for an opinion on whether state law precludes the council from getting an automatic pay raise.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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