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Associated Press, Published November 28 2013

Duluth mayor turns down $20,000 raise

DULUTH, Minn. — The mayor of Duluth has turned down a nearly $20,000 pay raise, saying he has enough to be thankful for and doesn't feel comfortable accepting a salary bump right now.

Mayor Don Ness turned down the City Council-approved pay raise in a letter to the city auditor Wednesday. The raise would have increased his salary to $97,500.

Instead, Ness will cap his salary at $78,000 until his term expires at the end of 2015.

"I do believe the mayor's salary should be adjusted," he told the Star Tribune. "But that would be most appropriately done after the next election." He has not decided whether to seek a third term.

This was the first time in over a decade that council members took action on mayoral pay. Ness told the newspaper he wrestled with the decision, but worried about his ability to represent the city with the weight of the increase.

"While any family could use a bit more, I didn't feel it was necessary," Ness said.

He said on Facebook that "this is not at all driven in reaction to the hateful voices out there, rather it's motivated by an overwhelming sense of being blessed by this community and not needing anything more from a community that has given so much."