City Council Votes to Increase its Monthly Pay by $200

Elk Grove City Council members will receive $800 a month instead of $600, starting after the election.

For instant updates, follow Elk Grove Patch on Facebook and Twitter.

Members of the Elk Grove City Council voted 4-1 to increase their monthly pay by $200 Wednesday night, citing the long hours and spent vacation time required to do the job. The increase will go into effect in December, following the election.

"It's not a full-time job as far as the pay is concerned, but the duties of this job approach near a full-time job anyway," said Vice Mayor Pat Hume, the first one to voice his opinion during Wednesday's meeting.

He, Mayor Jim Cooper and Council Member Steve Detrick all said they have to use vacation time from their full-time jobs to make time for city business.

"I've missed family events," Cooper said, noting that he doesn't request mileage reimbursement for driving outside of the city limits. "It's not a part-time job and there's a lot involved in it."

Council Member Sophia Scherman, who is retired, said to the best of her recollection the last pay increase council members received was in 2002.

Hume pointed out that the council could have been giving itself 5 percent raises each year, but hasn't. 

The sole member of the council who opposed the pay raise, Council Member Gary Davis, didn't publicly state why he voted the way he did.

In a later phone interview, Davis said he opposed the item both because of the perceived conflict of voting for his own salary increase and because of the current economic climate. He declined to specify whether he would refuse the extra pay if he's still on the council in December, saying he would make that decision if it comes up. His seat on the council is up in 2014.

"When I ran for the council I didn't realize there was any pay," he said by phone. "To me it's about public service and serving the community of Elk Grove."

Davis, who along with Scherman is running for mayor, declined to say whether he would accept a stipend if one is created for that position, saying he wanted to take things "one step at a time." He also denied that his vote Wednesday was motivated by political reasons.

"I approached this vote the same way I've approached every vote for the last six years, regardless of when an election might be."


Read more about the background to this item here and here.


Sign up for the free Elk Grove Patch newsletter | Like Elk Grove Patch on Facebook | Follow @ElkGrovePatch on Twitter | Blog for Elk Grove Patch

Bwood September 27, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Strangely enough, I agree with almost every single one of you …..
Tom Waltman September 27, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Wanna bet Gary accepts the pay with the increase? Anyone? Many of us volunteer for a multitude of activities. Only a few of us scream about how much we do. I don't begrudge any of them the pay or the increase. The grief each one gets from us volunteers can't be repaid with money. Sit in that seat and take the absolute abuse that each one takes, and then tell the citizens how terrible it is that they get paid less than a days worth of pay for the city manager.
Chris September 27, 2012 at 07:12 PM
You are right Tom and you should know. Your compliants alone against Steve Detrick cost us taxpayers $5,000 in legal fees.
Connie Conley September 27, 2012 at 09:03 PM
We could debate all day whether the council deserves a raise or not. I have a hard time with EGPD and the city staff not getting raises, getting their benefits cut, and the council gets one. Cody did a good job of outlining the other benefits the council receives, of which the council took advantage, including taxpayers paying $14,000 in tuition for council members Masters Degrees. The council also receives stipends for attending their regional boards and/or commission meetings to cover mileage, meals, parking, etc. Even if a meeting lasts 10 minutes because the agenda is empty, they still receive their $100 or so. But some “reimbursements’ were off the hook. It wasn’t until citizens stepped and called out a council member or two on their billing the city, meaning us taxpayers, for mileage to a regional board when they receive a stipend that something was done. We have even paid for council members’ lunches at Rotary and Chamber meetings for many years, and even paid for their home fax machines, among other things including the phone lines for that fax machine. Or even better, attending a meeting within the city limits and billing taxpayers for $1.60 in mileage. Again, not all, but a few have done so. Citizens stepped up at public comment, and two weeks later, the Elk Grove City Council passed what we refer to as the “No Double Dipping Resolution.” So do they deserve a raise? Maybe so, but the council receives far more than $600 a month.
Connie Conley September 27, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Well, Tom, it goes with the territory. I will never forgot what Dr, Jayna Karpinski-Costa once told me about Citrus Heights’ active citizenry. Citrus Heights became a city about the same time as Elk Grove. Some of us being regional players and interact with other cities, Jayna told me one day they have citizens who reminded them at every council meeting the following, “If you can’t take the heat, give up the seat.” Every Elk Grove Council member has run for reelection so it can’t be that bad. They certainly aren’t given a “Citrus Heights’ reminder.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »