City Council, mayor reject pay raises

The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Monday to reject a 15 percent raise proposed for themselves and the mayor.

The salary hike was recommended by San Diego’s Salary Setting Commission.

If the mayor and the council members had accepted the recommendation, Sanders’ pay would have increased from $100,464 to $115,534, while City Council members’ pay would rise from $75,386 to $86,694, starting July 1, 2011.

A recent analysis by the Salary Setting Commission found that Sanders should be making more than double his current pay and City Council members should each receive a nearly $100,000 raise.

However, the commission, which is made up of volunteers, suggested that Sanders and all eight council members each receive a 15 percent salary increase.

San Diego’s charter requires the commission to make annual recommendations regarding the salaries of elected officials. The recommendations are then voted on by the City Council, which has rejected proposed raises in each of the past seven years.

Mayor Jerry Sanders said recently that given San Diego’s fiscal situation, now is not the time for a pay hike.

Councilman Carl DeMaio made the motion to reject any pay hike. He also called on the commission to start considering the council and mayor’s net compensation package, including retirement benefits, not just pay, when issuing its annual report.

Jarvis Ross was the only member of the public to address the City Council on the proposed raises.

Ross urged the City Council to abolish the commission. He also concurred that given San Diego’s ongoing budget deficits, there should be no discussion on a salary increase.

“When you are asking to cut budgets all over the place, this is not the time to be looking at salary increases,” he testified.