The future Encinitas City Council will be getting pay raises, after a 3-1 approval by the current city council on Jan. 11.
Beginning in late 2018, city council members and the mayor will be paid $533.70 more per month.
The increases will take effect on the elected city council members after the November 2018 general election, according to city officials.
Two of the current sitting council members, Tony Kranz and Tasha Boerner Horvath, who aren’t up for re-election until 2020, will benefit from the increase. The other council members and Mayor Catherine Blakespear would be up for re-election before the raise would take effect.
City council members currently earn a $1,186 monthly salary, while the mayor currently earns a $1,286 salary.
Blakespear said the increases, which she described as “a hot coal nobody wants to touch,” were necessary because California law says that city salaries are set by population and council member pay had not been increased since 2008.
The raise consisted of 5 percent for each year the city council had gone without raises.
She said council members deserve the raise because of the time they put into the job.
“Put simply, we have weighty responsibilities that require long hours that are worthy of fair recompense,” Blakespear said. “To me, fair recompense is to follow the state law that dictates our pay.”
The last time the city council had an agenda item in 2010 regarding a pay increase for the city council –$121 a month – it was denied because council members were concerned about the economy.
Council member Mark Muir was the only person who voted against the increase, saying council members should do the job because they want to help the city, not because of a paycheck.
He also suggested council members should not receive a pension.
Council member Tasha Boerner Horvath, who does the job full-time, argued the pay should be increased to attract a wider range of candidates.