ROCKLAND — Rockland residents may be asked in November whether to increase the pay of City Councilors for the first time in more than 40 years.

City Councilors were in agreement that the pay should increase but there was disagreement on when that should take effect if voters say yes. The Council may vote July 12 on placing a charter change on the ballot to increase the pay. The amount has not been determined.

The City Council pay is set by the Rockland charter with councilors each receiving $800 per year while the mayor receives $1,000. In Rockland. The mayor moderates council meetings, nominates members to municipal committees, works with the administration on setting agendas and officiates at ceremonies.

That pay was set in 1980, when voters approved revisions to the Rockland Charter. Any change to that pay would have to be approved by voters.

The Bureau of Labor Services reports the cost of living increased 327% since November 1980. If the pay was tied to inflation, councilors would receive $2,614 and the mayor $3,270.

The last time a pay hike for councilors was proposed in Rockland was in 2002. In that year, voters rejected a charter referendum by a 1,419 to 715 vote that would have increased councilors pay to $2,000, with the mayor getting $2,500.

Councilor Sarah Austin said higher pay would allow more people to seek office.

“This would open the door to more people to consider running for the Council without financial hardship,” Austin said.

She said people on a tight budget, which is a big portion of Rockland residents, would not have to worry about paying for a babysitter or having to reduce hours at work in order to run for office.

Councilor Nate Davis agreed but said he would like the ballot item to delay the higher pay until all current councilors terms expire, which would mean November 2023.

Councilor Austin said voters are the ones to decide not councilors and saw no need for the delay.

Councilor Ben Dorr said the delay might improve the chances of the charter change being approved by voters.

Councilor Austin also asked whether the city could ask voters to to amend the charter so that the addresses of candidates are not included on the ballot. Austin cited safety and privacy for the proposed change.

Councilor Louise MacLellan-Ruf said her cars were egged the day after her election.

City Manager Tom Luttrell asked Councilors to also place a charter change before voters to increase the minimum amount of money that the city can issue bonds without voter approval. The amount has been $100,000 since 1980. He asked that the minimum amount that requires voter approval be increased to $250,000.