Possible pay increase for Opelousas mayor

Opelousas Mayor, Reginald Tatum, asked city council for a raise last month.

Tatum is expected to receive an answer at Tuesday’s city council meeting. The current salary of the mayor is $65,000, and the proposal would increase that amount to $75,000 a year.the lowest it’s been in 12 years. The salary is the lowest it’s been in 12 years. “I’m the CEO of the city and once I got to be mayor I actually found out that there’s a lot of employees that’s under me that I’m responsible for that are making almost double what I’m making,”

Previous Mayor, Donald Cravins, convinced council to decrease his salary last year. The new salary took effect when Tatum took office January first.

“Up until December 31st, he made up to $72,000. So I think it’s only fair that the adjustment goes back up to what it was. Actually it’s just two to three thousand dollars more than what it was,” says Tatum.

Tatum served as a full-time mayor. In addition to this position, Tatum also served as the city’s public works director until someone is hired for the job.

Local business owner, Ted Bellard, describes Tatum as an outstanding mayor and that he deserves the increase. “He’s outgoing. I’ve seen him at every possible function. I see his vehicle there at city hall at seven at night. He’s really been an asset to the city.”

Tatum said he has been met with some opposition. “You’re going to have people that’s going to say they don’t like it or they’re going to say you know he’s getting a raise, but like I said when you look at all the cities of comparable to the size of Opelousas, all the mayors are making more.”

Council members will vote on the increase at Tuesday’s council meeting at 5:00 p.m.

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