Council places pay raise on November ballot

After debating the issue in April, City Council members voted Tuesday to put a pay raise for themselves on the November ballot to see if it passes muster with voters.

Council pay would increase from $600 a month to $1000 a month, with annual adjustments for inflation.

In a 4-2 vote, council members Margaret Abe Koga and John Inks voted against the ballot measure, with Abe-Koga saying that council members should be paid based on how much time they actually spend on the job. Member John McAlister, who supported the raise in April, was absent.

Council pay would still be lower than what voters approved for the council in 1984, which would equal $1,137 today if adjusted for inflation (the 1984 measure paid council members $500 a month).

"In my opinion what this is doing is restoring what voters approved 30 years ago," said council member Mike Kasperzak.

Unlike other city employees whose salaries are raised with inflation, "We have gotten an annual decrease" in pay through decreasing buying power, Kasperzak said. "It's not a raise, it's an adjustment."

Ronit Bryant switched her vote Tuesday, going from opposing the raise in April to saying she wanted to allow voters to decide. Bryant had originally made a case for the raise as a way to attract candidates who need to work for a living, and said, "I was opposed to this because I didn't think moving to $1,000 is making a difference either, in terms of diversity" among council candidates. The proposed raise doesn't allow a council member to say, "I'll just work part time."

In April council members voted 4-3 in April to pursue the raise. Members had expressed concerns that voters would not approve a higher proposed raise that would bring the salary to $1,200 a month, even though it would raise their effective hourly pay to only slightly above minimum wage.

Council members told the Voice that they work an average of 30 hours a week, which comes out to $5 an hour at $600 a month, $8.33 at $1,000 a month and $10 at $1,200 a month. California's minimum wage is $8 an hour and will rise to $9 on July 1.


Like this comment
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 11, 2014 at 2:43 pm

I hope that get the raise. They actually deserve much more.
I understand that being on City Council takes many, many hours.

While I usually disagree with the majority of City Council Members on their views, I respect the hard work that their job entails.

Like this comment
Posted by Only a Politician
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Kasperzak said: "It's not a raise, it's an adjustment."

Spoken like a true politician, or should I say lawyer, or worse. Is there a worse?

Like this comment
Posted by cole
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2014 at 8:20 pm

About $65,000 for 7 members yearly salery to manage a almost 1/4 of a billion dollar city budget is chicken feed. At 10 times that it would be cheap.
Part time help at less than minimum wage and we get what we have gotten.

Like this comment
Posted by Can I agree?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2014 at 8:27 pm

I cannot disagree with what you say. They do deserve more pay.

However, I will see if Milk Pail stays in San Antonio with shared parking. I will vote that way. If YES, Milk Pail is there in Nov, I will vote YES, if NO, Milk Pail is not there, I will vote NO.

Seems easy to me. I have been very supportive. They need to do the RIGHT THING.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 11, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Sure they should have their income adjusted. As long as they can adjust the minimum wage in Mountain View to reflect the cost of living here. Hopefully they can agree that all working people deserve the "adjustment" they deserve!

Like this comment
Posted by incognito
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 12, 2014 at 1:16 am

ditto what Can I agree? said.

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