Erie City Council members met Wednesday to vote on raising council member wages for the future. However, things took an unexpected turn as the ordinance failed to pass.

The Erie City Council voted against an ordinance that would have increased their pay by nearly 60% starting in 2024.

On Aug. 17, Erie City Council members voted five-to-two on the proposed ordinance, but on its second reading on Wednesday, some members had a change of heart. The ordinance failed to pass in a three-to-three vote.

Council President Liz Allen was absent from Wednesday’s meeting and therefore was not able to vote. Allen voted against the pay hike on august 17th. 

City of Erie Mayor Joe Schember has supported this ordinance since its proposal.

“Council members have not received a raise since the mid-1980s, so that’s almost 40 years. I think it’s a good thing that will only apply to new people taking office, so the people in there won’t get the raise unless they’re re-elected, which is fair as well,” said Joe Schember, City of Erie mayor.

Councilwoman Jasmine Flores sponsored the wage increase. The final vote was surprising, considering the ordinance’s initial support.

Going into Wednesday’s meeting, Councilwoman Flores was confident that the ordinance would be passed.

“A lot of my community members and a lot of the people that got me elected are happy for it. I’m pretty confident in it because the support at the table is there,” said Jasmine Flores, Erie City councilwoman. “Fellow council members have tried in the past to get the increase, and with it not benefitting any of us and being for the next group I’m confident it’s going to go through.”

But again that ordinance was rejected. 

For now, the ordinance has failed and is rejected. However, it can be re-proposed for a first reading again in the future if sponsored and supported by multiple council members.