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Grover City Council mulls increasing its compensation 

How long would you wait before asking for a raise? One year? Two?

How about 31 years?

click to enlarge PAY BUMP The City of Grover beach is considering increasing pay for it its city council and mayor, which has not been increased since 1986. - PHOTO COURTESY OF GROVER BEACH
  • Photo Courtesy Of Grover Beach
  • PAY BUMP The City of Grover beach is considering increasing pay for it its city council and mayor, which has not been increased since 1986.

At an Aug. 21 meeting, the Grover Beach City Council asked city staff to begin exploring the possibility of increasing the monthly stipend for council members and mayor, something that hasn't been done since 1986.

"The stipend, to me, is no-brainer," Councilwoman Mariam Shah said.

Currently, all five members of the council, including the mayor, get $300 a month. According to data presented by city staff, it's the lowest in SLO County. Other stipends range from $514.80 per month for council members in neighboring Pismo Beach, to $1,200 per month for members of the SLO City Council. Several of the cities, including Paso Robles, Morro Bay, and SLO pay the mayor a slightly higher stipend.

"It should be bumped up to at least be comparable to our peers," Shah said.

According to Grover Beach City Manager Matthew Bronson, the maximum stipend the council could approve this year would be $765 per month. At the meeting, the council suggested that staff consider upping the stipend to an amount similar to the city of Atascadero, which currently pays its councilmembers $600 a month and the mayor $750.

In addition, some of the other cities in the county also offer council members and mayors heath, dental, and life insurance benefits, something Grover Beach does not currently do. At the meeting, staff estimated it would cost an additional $37,000 a year to provide insurance coverage to all five members of the council.

Any increases to stipends would not take effect until January 2019, after the next election. That means Mayor John Shoals, who will be termed out by that time, wouldn't see a stipend bump.

Several members of the council expressed the hope that increasing the stipend would encourage more residents to run for office in the future, and open up the possibility of getting a wider range of candidates to step forward to serve.

City staff plans to present the board with a more detailed ordinance at a future board meeting. Δ

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