Tuesday, September 30, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Council gives itself a raise for first time in 13 years

By
From page A1 | September 13, 2013 |

That cracking and crunching some may have heard coming from the Community Chambers at City Hall on Tuesday was the sound of City Council members walking on eggshells at their meeting while discussing how much money they should pay themselves.

But while the city’s elected officials all acknowledged the awkward position they were in, with an eye toward properly compensating future city leaders and attracting a more diverse group of candidates for the job, the council voted 4-1 to increase the monthly salary, or stipend, for a City Council member by about two-fold, from $669.42 per month to $1,138.

Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk dissented.

The pay increases will take effect when a new council is seated in July after the June City Council election. The council hasn’t given itself a raise since 2000.

“I know the amount of work that I put into this job,” said Councilman Lucas Frerichs, who made the motion to increase the council members’ salaries. “It sometimes takes more precedent and priority than my actual full-time paid job, because this is actually a full-time job.”

When presented with the issue last year, the council decided to enlist the help of the city’s Finance and Budget Commission before making a decision. The commission deliberated the matter over several meetings but its recommendation on how much to compensate the city’s policymakers was far from unanimous, essentially leaving the decision up to the council members.

Wolk, the lone dissenting vote on the raise Tuesday, said the $30,000 or so saved by keeping the salaries status quo could be better spent elsewhere in the city, especially considering the programs the city has had to cut in recent years.

Also, Wolk said a raise sends the wrong message to the city’s employees, from whom the council has been asking for concessions over the past few years.

“I think that in this financial period where we’re cutting, and every dollar counts, I think raising council compensation is not a good idea, not only financially but also for the optics of it,” Wolk said.

Councilwoman Rochelle Swanson said, however, that the lower the salary for a council member, the more it limits the type of individual who can actually serve the city in that role.

“I think that it’s unfortunate, that that becomes something,” Swanson said. “I know that’s not a community value that only retired people or people of means are able to serve on the City Council.”

Councilman Brett Lee attempted to bridge the two sides by offering to allocate the pay raise that a current council member would receive to the lifeline water utility rate assistance program so that no council members would be directly voting for a raise for themselves.

“The idea there would be for all the people up here voting that we actually don’t see that increase, but we’re setting the stage so when a future council takes their positions, at least they’re starting from a more reasonable baseline,” Lee said.

But City Attorney Harriet Steiner said the council could not mandate that a portion of a council member’s salary go into a specific city fund. Frerichs and Swanson also both said they’d prefer not to be locked in to dedicating the money to only one benefit.

Meanwhile, Mayor Joe Krovoza agreed that the amount of time council members put in to the job deserves more compensation.

“The number of hours estimated per year at 800 is absurd,” Krovoza said. “It’s these meetings that take sometimes six to eight hours apiece, it’s the preparation for these meetings, which is almost always an equal amount of time or more.

“I think if we want younger people and we want people of lower income and we want people of diverse experiences to serve on this council, we have to value their time and it will make this community richer.”

Only Frerichs and Lee are guaranteed to reap the benefits of the raise. Swanson’s term ends in 2014; she has said she intends to seek re-election.

Krovoza will not run for City Council when his term ends in 2014, as he’s campaigning instead for the Assembly’s 4th District seat, currently held by Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis. Wolk is running against Krovoza for that seat in the Assembly, but he would remain on the council should he lose.

— Reach Tom Sakash at tsakash@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash

Comments

comments

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at tsakash@davisenterprise.net, (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Sanity phase begins in Daniel Marsh trial

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

     
    Council looks at granny-flat revision

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Man on a mission: transform Davis

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Poppenga outlines ambitious agenda

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Cool Davis Festival is très chill

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Standing In: Is the therapy for them, or me?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

    California exhausts initial firefighting budget

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Brown allows new local development financing tools

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Find the perfect club or organization to join

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C2 | Gallery

     
    California becomes first state to ban plastic bags

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Forum examines Props. 1 and 2 on November ballot

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Assembly candidates will be at Woodland forum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    California approves landmark ‘yes means yes’ law

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Try out basic yoga on Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    DCC welcomes students with free lunch

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Gibson House hosts plant sale and garden event

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Register to vote by Oct. 20

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Covell Gardens breakfast benefits Komen Foundation

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Put your hoes down and celebrate the harvest

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Panelists discuss raising children with special needs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    DCC hosts fair-trade gift sale on Oct. 11

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Number of wheels: How many bicycles do you have in your household?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C5 | Gallery

     
    Emerson gives away old textbooks

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Downtown history tour planned in October

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Fraud Awareness Fair set Oct. 15 in West Sac

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    UCD, University College Dublin will cooperate on food, health

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Accessibility technology on exhibit at fair

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Woodland PD seeks volunteers for ViP program

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    DMTC makes musical theater accessible to everyone

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: C9 | Gallery

     
    Take home a wreath from Davis Flower Arrangers’ meeting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Snapshot: A night out with the neighbors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C10

     
    Davis school names reflect interesting history

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: C12

    Snapshot: Plenty of places to park it

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C14

     
    Snapshot: Dive into Davis fun

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C15

    Snapshot: Kick garbage to the curb

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C16

     
    Snapshot: Sounds like a party

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C17

    .

    Forum

    It takes two to lambada

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    He seems happy at home

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    The great bedtime conspiracy

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    They’re best-prepared to lead

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Vibrant and hard-working

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Archer has the right stuff

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    Get on your bikes to meet Davis’ greenhouse gas goals

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Marsh case shows need for ‘Maupin’s Law’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Only 15 months out of UCD, Runas off to LPGA Tour

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Davis golfers get teaching moments in forfeit win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    ‘Playoff game’ or missed chance? Either way the Aggies move on

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils move atop league standings with win

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Two Junior Blue Devil squads emerge victorious

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

     
    Woodland artist hosts event at her new studio

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    I-House film series continues with ‘Monsieur Lazhar’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    ‘Art Farm’ exhibition will open in Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Pleasant Valley Boys cool down Picnic in the Park

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Acclaimed guitarist Peppino D’Agostino to play The Palms

    By Landon Christensen | From Page: A9

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Danelle Evelyn Watson

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Michael Allen Hanks Baxter

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Anne Elizabeth Elbrecht

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7