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Council Member Pay Raises Possible, But Not Imminent

State law allows a boost in pay now that Elk Grove's population has reached more than 150,000.

Elk Grove’s population growth over the last ten years has made city council members eligible for a slight pay increase, but it will be a while before their wallets get fatter.

State law allows city council members to give themselves a raise when the local population passes certain thresholds. Elk Grove had a population of 153,015 in 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

That puts the city in the 150,000-to-250,000 category, in which council members can earn up to $800 per month. Council members currently get $600 per month.

According to Christine Brainerd, a city spokesperson, a raise wouldn’t be automatic. City staff, likely either from the city clerk’s or city attorney’s office, would need to draft an ordinance to be taken before the council in a public meeting. Then council members would have to approve it.

Brainerd told Elk Grove Patch Wednesday that the city hasn’t drawn up any such ordinance as far as she knows.

The law, California Government Code Section 36516, only allows for adjustments in pay when at least one council member begins a new term, so any pay increases wouldn’t take effect until after the fall 2012 elections.

Council members Elk Grove Patch spoke with were mum on whether they’d approve their own raises if such an ordinance came before them. Councilmember Sophia Scherman said she couldn’t comment about what decision she’d make until the ordinance reached her.

Councilmember Patrick Hume said that the job’s not just about money anyway.

“I doubt any of us are in it for the pay, and the commitment certainly exceeds the compensation,” he said.

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