South Lake Tahoe City Council members receive pay raise
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — South Lake Tahoe City Council members gave themselves a pay raise Tuesday, with some citing the need to increase the compensation of those serving on the council in order to prevent qualified candidates from being deterred by a low salary.
Before the adjustment was approved unanimously, compensation for a South Lake Tahoe City Council member was $452 per month. Now it’s $946.09 per month — the maximum amount each member is currently allowed under state law.
The decision marks the first time the city council has approved a pay raise for its members since 1998.
“We are passing this for the future of our city, for what we are building and for the level of city council members we wish to attract,” Mayor Pro Tem Wendy David said.
California code states that council members in cities with a population of 35,000 or less are allowed up to $300 per month, but that salary may be increased by up to 5 percent each calendar year since the last date of adjustment.
With a maximum five percent adjustment made each year since 1998, the total comes out to the $946.09 figure.
The raise results in an extra $6,216 per year, per council member, plus another $2,142 for “roll ups,” which are things like workers’ compensation, CalPERS and Medicare.
That brings the total cost to the city to about $41,790 annually for all five council members. However, two council members are not paying CalPERS.
With the pay the way it was, councilwoman JoAnn Conner said it was difficult for interested candidates to run for council.
“It is a deterrent not to have a decent compensation,” she said, adding. “It keeps good people from applying.”
Conner went on to say that the average workweek for a council member is about 20 to 25 hours, but could reach up to 40 hours depending on the workload. David added that it could sometimes be longer than that.
Some members of the public also voiced their support for a raise, though not all to the same extent. South Lake Tahoe resident Ed Mosur, TahoeChamber President Betty “B” Gorman and South Lake Tahoe Parks & Recreation Commissioner Peter Fink all advocated a pay increase of some sort for the council.
Changes to council compensation can only be made around the time at least one member commences a new term. For this reason, the council on Tuesday also chose to revisit the issue of compensation every two years, on an election year.
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