OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) — The Opelousas Board of Aldermen has approved an ordinance reducing the annual salaries of the mayor and aldermen by 7 percent.

Mayor Donald Cravins Sr. and the aldermen have discussed the salary reduction issue for the past eight months after Cravins told the aldermen last year that he thought they, and the mayor, are paid too much.

The Advocate reports the amended ordinance, approved by a unanimous vote on Tuesday, reduces the mayor's base salary from $71,739 to $66,717. The mayor's annual vehicle allowance is also cut, from $9,980 to $7,980.

Aldermen will earn $15,243 compared to the $16,390 they had been getting.

The aldermen are allowed to retain their $200 monthly vehicle allowance.

The salary adjustments for mayor and aldermen become effective Jan. 1.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.