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Gainesville council increasing per diem meeting pay
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The Gainesville City Council is increasing its per diem meeting attendance pay to $150 from $125, and increasing the number of meetings elected officials can be paid for each month to 12 from 10.

The changes, which would increase meeting pay for each council member and the mayor by a maximum of $300 a month, closes the gap with what Hall County officials earn.

Members on the county Board of Commissioners are paid $178 per meeting, the same as state representatives, though their constituency is significantly larger than what city officials represent.

The last previous pay increase for city officials took effect in 2008, according to city spokeswoman Catiel Felts.

City officials said the increase is akin to a cost-of-living adjustment.

“You only get paid for one (meeting) per day,” said Mayor Danny Dunagan. “When I have three or four meetings a day, I just get paid for one. It’s not something you can live off of.”

City elected officials said they typically attend more than 12 meetings monthly, including board meetings, council meetings and meetings with residents.

“I appreciate my per diems and how I’m compensated,” said Councilman Sam Couvillon.