City Council to consider $23K raise for council clerk

Matches pay of mayor’s executive assistant Lenfant

Would give council clerk 38% raise

Lenfant received $10K raise last year amid kerfuffle with council

Proposal to be introduced by council member who opposed Lenfant raise last year

Council meetings return to City Hall Thursday

UPDATED 1/26/2022 at 11:20AM: Corrects use of title for Trilby Lenfant to ‘executive assistant.’

MANDEVILLE — The City Council will consider an ordinance that would give Clerk of Council Kristine Scherer a $23,000 pay raise, putting her almost equal in pay to Mayor Clay Madden’s executive assistant Trilby Lenfant.

Lenfant received a controversial raise in June that was met with frustration by some on the council, so much so they requested an opinion from the State Attorney General’s office on the matter.

While the AG ultimately said the raise was legal and did not violate the city’s home rule charter, the office concluded the wording of the City Council’s 2021 budget ordinance was ambiguous and that future budgets should be better written to avoid such confusion.

Ordinance 22-03 is being introduced at the regular City Council meeting Thursday by Councilman at Large Rick Danielson who — along with District II Councilman Skelly Kreller and District III Councilwoman Jill McGuire — was critical of Lenfant’s $10,000 raise at an August meeting last year, leading to the AG opinion request offered by Kreller.

The proposed pay raise for Scherer would be debated and voted on at the February 10, 2022, City Council meeting, provided it isn’t removed or pulled from the agenda Thursday. It is only slated to be introduced at Thursday’s meeting.

Scherer’s current pay of $60,139 is just above the market maximum $59,342 revealed by SSA Consultants’ recent salary survey “An Evaluation of the City of Mandeville’s Compensation and Benefit Plan” conducted for the city in November 2021.

Lenfant’s current pay of $83,827, which includes last year’s $10,000 raise, is well below the SSA Consultants market maximum of $102,440 for that type of position.

Proposed Ordinance 22-03 uses the title “executive secretary” to refer to Lenfant’s position, but according to the City of Mandeville’s official website, her title is “Executive Assistant.”

Thursday’s council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Mandeville City Hall council chamber at 3101 E. Causeway Approach. The meetings have been held at the Paul R. Spitzfaden Community Center for over a year, first due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then because of renovations to the council chambers.

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