Ceredigion county councillors have voted themselves a 1% pay rise - but through gritted teeth.
As council tax payers face a rise of 5% in their bills next month, councillors with a conscience can opt out of the rise which has been imposed by an outside pay panel.
Finance director Gwyn Jones told this week's full council that they had no choice but to accept the panel's decision.
"Your hands are tied," he said, adding that individual councillors who did not want to take the extra cash could write to head of democratic services Clare Jones.
Cllr Mark Cole, who fired off an email rejecting the rise while sat in the meeting, called for a recorded vote to be taken so that the public could see who was declining the offer.
"This meeting is being shown live on the web and we should show what our response is as individuals," he said.
But leader Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn said not every councillor was present at the meeting.
"We will all have to make a personal declaration," she said.
Cllr Alun Lloyd Jones said it was impossible to attract professional people to become councillors.
"They say you wouldn't get a monkey for that salary," he said.
Deputy leader Cllr Ray Quant said that the rise amounted to £125 a year.
*From May 9 councillors will get £13,300; chairs of committees will get £22k, cabinet members £26k, deputy leader £30k with the leader on £43k.