At Tuesday night’s meeting the Santa Clarita City Council approved a decision most employees don’t have the privilege of making — they gave themselves a raise.
Technically, the 10% pay increase would take effect for the next term city council. However, with the low turnover rate of city council members the vote to approve 3-2 is tantamount to signing a check in their own names.
Former Councilmember TimBen Boydston spoke publicly about his salary while serving on the council stating he made roughly $30,000 a year combing salary and benefits. He told the council he believed voting themselves a raise comes at the wrong time and sends the wrong message.
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“This is the wrong time for our elected officials to be giving themselves raises when there are so many people unemployed and so many people hurting,” said Boydston.
Councilmember Bob Kellar asked the item to be pulled from the Consent Calendar for an individual vote.
Santa Clarita resident Cam Noltemeyer told the city council she thought more people would run for office if they knew how lucrative the position was becoming.
“We might have more people interested in running when they realize how much they could get paid, and also receive benefits of health insurance and retirement, etcetera,” Noltemeyer said.
As they had once before, Kellar and Mayor Pro Tem Ender voted against the raise.
The pay increase did pass, however, with two unabashed “Yes” votes from Councilmember Frank Ferry and Mayor Marsha McLean and an “Aye” vote from Councilmember Laurene Weste.