2012-06-22 / Front Page
Council approves 5 percent pay bump
The Camarillo City Council unanimouslyvotedfora5percent pay increase for the next two years—a raise the council also said yes to in 2010—during its regular council meeting June 13.
State law allows local governments to raise the salaries of City Council members and mayors by no more than 5 percent during election years.
The pay increase goes into effect in 2013 after the election, so those elected to the council in November may or may not be the same ones who voted on the raise.
Each council member currently earns an annual salary of $14,472, or $1,206 per month, said Ronnie Campbell, director of the city’s finance department. A 5 percent increase per year means members will take home $1,266 per month next year and $1,329 per month in 2014.
“(The raise) keeps up with the rate of inflation,” said Councilmember Kevin Kildee, who is up for reelection this year. “You don’t do this job for the money. You do it because you love it, and it’s a great way to give back to the city that’s been good to all of us.”
Campbell said council members cam receive benefits such as medical, dental and life insurance paid for by the city. They also participate in the California Public Employee Retiree System.
Council members also earn $155 per meeting for sitting on the Camarillo Sanitary District board, which assembles about once a month.
The salary of the five-member council will make up 0.75 percent of the city’s $25.3-million budget for 2013. The council will vote on the final budget for fiscal year 2013-14 on June 27.
The council’s decision to approve higher salaries for its members was made about a month after it raised a slew of user fees residents and business owners will have to pay.
The revised user fees—some of which are new, others of which are increases to existing fees—are intended to cover costs the city incurs when it approves such items as a construction permit or has to inspect a building’s storm runoff system.
The city said it needed to raise those fees to recoup money it was losing from its general fund.
According to Jennifer Mellon, administrative services manager for the City of Moorpark, the five Moorpark City Council members make $300 each and have since 1990. Their budget is around $13 million, about half of Camarillo’s.
Thousand Oaks council members make $1,750 per month, according to Andrew Powers, assistant to the T.O. city manager. There are four T.O. City Council members; one seat is vacant.
The council members said the pay was nominal in relation to the number of hours required of them for city business.
Camarillo Mayor Jan Mc- Donald, who works full time as an accountant, said she spends between 20 and 40 hours per week performing her duties as a mayor. Besides regular meetings, council members serve on three to five boards, such as the Camarillo Ranch Foundation, as well as attend regional committee meetings.
“When you serve on a committee, it isn’t just showing up for three hours,” McDonald said. “You read volumes of papers and reports.”
Kildee, owner of Bob Kildee Clothing, said that in addition to his council duties he spends time keeping abreast of state and national political issues that may impact Camarillo.
The council members also attend events throughout the community.
“This morning I have an eco- nomic development breakfast and a meeting at a senior citizen’s home,” said McDonald.
She added that representing the city, such as by attending a funeral or working on weekends, is part of the job.
“The public deserves us to be there to represent the city and listen,” McDonald said.