Pay raise to be considered for Solana Beach Council members

Solana Beach City Hall
(Kristina Houck)

The Solana Beach City Council could get a bump in pay in the future.

Currently, council members receive a monthly stipend of $712.58, an amount that hasn’t been increased since 2008. Council members previously received $593.82 each month.

At the request of Mayor Lesa Heebner at the Feb. 11 meeting, council members will discuss the possibility of approving a raise at a future meeting.

Because Solana Beach is a small city, Heebner said council members have a larger workload.

“What that means is that we actually do a lot more of our own work,” she said. “We don’t have aides. We don’t have assistants. We drive our own cars. We read our own agendas. We don’t have anybody reading them for us and providing us a little notebook with great little crafted remarks for us. We do it all on our own.”

According to government code, council compensation can only be increased by an ordinance.

Each increase can be no more than 5 percent for each calendar year since the last increase, explained City Attorney Johanna Canlas. Therefore, if a salary increase were approved, council members would receive a monthly stipend of $961.98 beginning in December 2016, Canlas said.

“Any increase, should this come back by an ordinance, would not take effect until after next election,” Canlas said.

Although council members are currently allowed to take a car allowance, none have requested an allowance in the past few years — a change council members could also make.

“During the recession we felt that it was probably not the right time,” Heebner explained. “We were asking for cuts from other employees, and we thought that we would contribute by not taking our car allowance. Now might be another time to reconsider.”


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