Council rejects recommended pay raise

San Diego City Council members on Monday unanimously voted down a recommended pay raise for themselves and the mayor.

The raises were proposed by the city’s Salary Setting Commission and automatically brought before the City Council.

The commission had recommended that pay for members of the City Council be increased from $75,386 to $125,000, starting July 1. The panel proposed the mayor’s pay be raised from $100,464 to $150,000.

“Now is not the time for obvious reasons,” Councilman Kevin Faulconer said before voting to oppose any raises.

The city of San Diego faces a projected $60 million budget shortfall in the coming fiscal year.

“We’re broke,” Councilman Carl DeMaio said. “We’re lucky to have jobs

in this economy.”

Councilman Tony Young agreed that now is not the time to consider raises, but said a discussion needs to be held on the process by which the salaries for City Council members are set.

“I think the method is flawed,” Young said, arguing that the process is largely driven by politics.

City Council President Ben Hueso agreed to hold a hearing on the issue before the Rules, Open Government and Intergovernmental Relations Committee in the near future.

The City Council has not had a raise since 2003, but members came close to giving themselves one last year.

The City Council voted last April to give themselves a raise, but, bowing to mounting public criticism, reversed course and opted to keep salaries stable for another year.

Mayor Jerry Sanders also vetoed the salary hike.