Sunday, January 25, 2015

Council votes 3-2 to give itself a raise

From page A1 | April 12, 2012 |

In what may have been a surprise move with an election less than two months away, the Davis City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday to increase its members’ monthly salary from about $670 to just over $1,000.

Mayor Joe Krovoza, Mayor Pro Tem Rochelle Swanson and Councilwoman Sue Greenwald voted in favor of the raise. Councilmen Stephen Souza and Dan Wolk dissented.

Greenwald, Souza and Wolk are seeking re-election on June 5, challenged by Lucas Frerichs, chairman of the Davis Planning Commission, and Brett Lee, an industrial engineer. Both challengers were sitting in the Community Chambers at City Hall during the council’s deliberations.

The council also approved an ordinance Tuesday that will allow council members, if they so choose, to take $500 per month in deferred compensation in place of health benefits, which cost the city $1,500 monthly per council member.

If a council member opts for the $500, he or she would save the city $1,000 a month. If all five council members chose health insurance through their jobs or spouses’ plans or some other option, the city could save $60,000 per year.

But there was disagreement on the dais about whether any type of council compensation should be increased at a time when the city faces a budget picture riddled with question marks.

Krovoza made the motion to approve the deferred compensation ordinance and received three votes in support. Wolk, who dissented, said he doesn’t believe this is the right time for such action.

“Joe, I really think where you’re coming from here, it makes a lot of sense,” Wolk said. “I just can’t support it in the midst of contract negotiations like this. I won’t be supporting it, but I think your heart is in the right place, Joe, on this one.”

The mayor, however, said he believes allowing council members to receive the same compensation as new part-time employees — compensation that could save the city money — is smart policy.

“We’re talking about having the council being treated the same as employees and we’re talking about the potential to save up to $48,000 for the city when we’ve got tight budget times,” Krovoza said. “So I think it’s smart fiscally and I think it’s equitable.”

Greenwald added that scrimping on compensation for council members may hurt the city in the long run because it does nothing to attract potential candidates who want to serve.

“(Council members) work 40 to 60 hours a week and we get virtually no pay,” Greenwald said. “That is an unusual situation. I think it’s very shortsighted on the part of government because I think we need good people and we need people to stay and not just use it as a stepping stone to a higher office that does get paid.”

Wolk countered that he believes the council should be mindful of how all public funds are handled, including council member compensation.

“Council members in other jurisdictions are coming under criticism for doing that (voting themselves raises),” Wolk said. “I’m not saying I agree with that, but I think in this time we have to be especially cognizant of our public finances and how taxpayers are viewing those finances.”

As for the raise in monthly stipends, Swanson, like Greenwald, worried that leaving salaries at their current levels could deter potential candidates who can’t afford to choose council service over a full-time job.

“For a lot of folks who I think would be amazing council members, they just can’t do it because of the lack of compensation,” Swanson said. “Not that it needs to be something large, but I do think we have to look a couple of ripples down the pond when decisions are made like this.”

Souza said he doesn’t feel comfortable raising the council’s salary, and added that a few hundred dollars likely will not attract more potential candidates.

“I think service on behalf of the community is supposed to be the attractor factor,” Souza said. “I totally agree that it would be nice to compensate ourselves more for our time, but going from $600 to $1,000, it’s a small compensation; it’s a very small compensation.”

Council members have not had a raise since April 2000. The city can adjust council members’ salaries only every two years, but the amount can be increased up to 5 percent each calendar year.

— Reach Tom Sakash at or (530) 747-8057. Follow him on Twitter @TomSakash



Tom Sakash

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

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

  • .


    Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Share your love (story) with us

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Winter produce available at Sutter market

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Donations to be distributed during homeless count

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    Speaker will share computer security tips

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

    Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Davis, Woodland are saving water

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

    Words and Music Festival events

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12



    Family isn’t keen on relationship

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

    Caring for the aging mouth

    By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

    Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

    Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

    By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

    We have the right to choose

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    We don’t have to suffer

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    City helped immensely

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

    From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11



    Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD men take two tennis matches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8







    Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

    By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

    Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9





    Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8