As a result of the decision, disgraced former chairman of the council Gatis Truksnis (Greens and Farmers Union, ZZS), who now holds the position of adviser to the chairman of the council, will have an even higher salary than when he was in the mayor's chair. From January, Truksnis will receive 4,732 euros per month for his advice.
The salary of the new council chairperson Rita Sproģe (ZZS) will rise by 54% from the new year, netting her a cool 5,915 euros per month.
The salary of Sproģe's deputy and fellow ZZS party member Jānis Lediņas, will increase by a third. He will receive 4,500 euros per month.
The opposition councillors from the National Alliance opposed the salary grab, explained the NA's Jānis Asars: "We, as the opposition, had submitted a proposal before the city council meeting not to increase these salaries to the maximum possible rates. [We proposed] to link this percentage to existing inflation, which is 22%. However, this proposal was not taken into account. At the moment, several employees in the municipality have low salaries, which lag behind sectors in other municipalities, for example, pre-school teaching assistants, for whom, in my opinion, it would be necessary to first determine a reasonable salary and only then think about the fact that, perhaps deputies should increase their salary, and according to inflation."
Truksnis, who has been involved in a string of scandals over the years was found guilty of falsifing documents in connection with a business trip. He was fined 5,000 euros and resigned, but has been retained as an adviser – which is likely to be regarded as the height of craven cynicism by many residents.
It is not the first time Truksnis and Sproģe have been involved in an elaborate game of musical chairs in Jūrmala's council chamber.