Councilmembers and the mayor want a raise. Do they deserve it?

The city councilmembers may have a hard sell when it comes to convincing voters to give them raises.
We’re not going to rush to judgment on this one but, instead, allow the city council to both explain and defend its position.
And we advise the public to also hold off on making knee-jerk reactions –such as immediately giving the proposal a hard ‘no.’
The council wants to almost triple their salaries, as well as more than double the mayor pro tem’s and mayor’s. And when we say salaries, think more like a stipend.
The council currently makes a little over $3,200 a year, the mayor pro tem, over $4,800 and the mayor $6,500.
The increase would change that to over $9,700 a year for five of the councilmembers, the sixth councilmember, who is also mayor pro tem, would get over $11,700 and the mayor’s salary would be about $13,000.
This proposal would require voter approval, and won’t appear on the ballot until the August Primary Election.
The proposed salary boost comes at a time when the city’s financial picture looks grim. Simply put, the city is spending more money that it is taking in.
Councilmembers are justifying the increases because of the amount of time they spend on researching matters and staying in contact with the public.
They do a lot of behind-the-scenes work.
A counter-argument is, no one forced them to take this role. And also, did any of them really look into their roles of councilmember or of mayor before running for those offices, in order to know what would be expected for the current amount of pay?
Our charter is set up to have the city manager and their administration do the actual heavy lifting of managing the city – not the council and mayor.
The roles of the councilmembers and mayor are largely ceremonial. However, it’s appreciated that they take their roles very seriously, and often put in extra hours in so-doing.
But in the end, it’s likely that the council will have a tough job selling this proposal to the public.
Posted Feb. 24, 2023

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