Clarksdale mayor, other leaders gave themselves huge pay raises

CLARKSDALE, MISS. — The mayor of a Mississippi Delta city of 15-thousand people is now getting paid more than the state’s governor.

As FOX13 found out, Clarksdale’s board and mayor voted in their own pay raise.

Mayor Chuck Espy got a nearly 36-thousand-dollar pay raise. It brings his salary to 122,999 dollars. That’s several hundred dollars more than Gov. Tate Reeves makes a year.

Angelo Young of Clarksdale didn’t get it.

“That is a pretty steep salary in a little depressed town like this. I don’t think he should be getting that type of money.” Young said.

According to the mayor, he and the board came up with the raises by looking at comparable positions around the city.

“What we did see in regards to my salary is what were others mayors were being paid, but we also looked at a large portion what were county administrators being paid,” Mayor Espy said. “In Coahoma County, a former county administrator in Coahoma County was being paid $150,000 for a county administrator.”

Espy told FOX13 the city is fiscally sound, and that is part of the reason behind the raises for city employees and 24 thousand dollar raises for city commissioners. But his raise now has some wondering how he could make more than the governor.

”I wouldn’t say that it wouldn’t be fair, but he is just the mayor. The governor is over the mayor, right, so I really don’t think it’s fair to be honest,” Jerome Tellis of Clarksdale said.

The Mayor says he does not make more than the Governor and that the Governor actually makes $185,000, according to numbers he has found.