New Times / News
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 28, Issue 37
Pay hike for SLO?
By COLIN RIGLEY
San Luis Obispo city councilmembers are scheduled to vote on whether to give a pay increase to themselves, city planning commissioners, and architectural review commissioners.
If approved at a scheduled April 15 City Council meeting, city councilmembers will receive a $200 per month bump in pay to $1,200, while the mayor’s monthly salary will increase from $1,200 to $1,500.
Members of the planning and architectural review commissions would receive $60 per meeting rather than the going rate of $50, with a maximum monthly total of $240 per month.
A city-appointed Council Compensation Committee made the recommendation—the first proposed salary increase since 2008, according to a city staff report. City councilmembers decided not to appoint such a committee in 2010 and 2012, according to the staff report.
A compensation survey of several other California communities showed an average mayoral salary of $1,425 per month, while the average city councilmember makes $971 per month.
Mayor Jan Marx said she’s always viewed her work time on the City Council as “volunteer work” with a stipend to cover costs.
“It’s more than a full-time job,” she said, noting that her compensation typically goes toward backfilling expenses she incurs on the job.
Previous SLO city elected officials pointed to pay as a reason they left. Former councilman Andrew Carter wrote in a Jan. 4 letter that he resigned from his seat because “I could no longer afford to serve.” Carter wrote that he was unable to find full-time employment because of the time he had to devote to being on the City Council: “During my job search, I was repeatedly told I would be perfect for a position, ‘if only you weren’t on Council.’”
The decision comes in the midst of a number of divisive financial issues in SLO. City councilmembers are split on a proposal to ask voters to re-approve Measure Y, the one-half percent sales tax. At the same time, the city is appealing a ruling over the controversial practice of binding arbitration for public safety employee labor groups.
If approved, the compensation increases would translate to a $6,000 hit to the current 2014-15 budget, with an ongoing cost of $13,200 annually. The commission members’ pay would cost $3,360 annually. The salary increases would go into effect next year.
Supervisors discuss cuts to Behavioral Wellness and Social Services in light of budget shortfall Fisherman loses appeal in civil rights cases involving panga boat Lend me a stage: PCPA's Brad Carroll directs the play he co-wrote and premiered in London's West End, 'Lend Me a Tenor the Musical,' for its Central Coast debut Political Watch 4/27/17 Hobnobbing with Helen Three maps chosen for prospective Santa Maria districts Suspected Easter shooter charged with murder