Members of Worthington City Council may soon receive their first raise in nearly 30 years.

Members of Worthington City Council may soon receive their first raise in nearly 30 years.

At council's regular meeting Tuesday, Dec. 7, city staff had prepared a report comparing council salaries with those from surrounding communities that showed council members were compensated significantly less than in other cities.

Salaries have not been raised for Worthington council members since 1988, though the issue has been discussed since.

Council members currently make $50 per meeting, which comes out to $1,850 per year.

"We get paid the same amount for a 10-minute meeting as a 10-hour meeting," council member David Norstrom said.

Council member Rachael Dorothy said Hilliard -- which recently raised council salaries from $7,500 per year to more than $10,000 -- considered Worthington such an "outlier" that officials didn't even include the city when discussing a similar decision.

In many other communities, City Manager Matt Greeson said, council members are paid "regardless of whether they attend meetings or not."

Finance Director Molly Roberts suggested changing the pay system to a monthly or annual structure for ease of bookkeeping.

"Right now, we're the lowest-paid council in the entire area," council President Bonnie Michael said. "I think someone needs to take a look at it so that this can be resolved."

An ordinance was introduced at the meeting that will return for a public hearing Monday, Dec. 14. The ordinance would raise the salaries by an undetermined figure that will be read into the ordinance as an amendment at the meeting.

Council members are not permitted to raise their own salaries during their current terms, so Dorothy, Norstrom, Michael Troper and Scott Myers would not be eligible for the raises unless they are re-elected.

Michael and Doug Smith, who were re-elected for new terms that start in 2016, and newcomer Doug Foust would be eligible for the raises beginning Jan. 1.

If passed Dec. 14, the ordinance would be declared an emergency measure to take effect before 2016.