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The Salary Setting Commission’s recommendation for salary increases for all city councilmembers and the mayor was rejected today by the city council. The proposed recommendations would have increased a councilmember’s salary from $75,386 to $175,000 and the mayor’s salary from $100,464 to $235,000 - effective on July 1, 2012 or 2013.

Despite similar recommendations in previous years, the council has not approved a salary increase since 2003, although councilmember Carl DeMaio pointed out that an increase was approved in May of 2008, but rescinded two days later after public outcry.

The commission, which is an independent citizen volunteer committee, attempted to make its case for the pay increase by stating that since 2003, the cost of living in San Diego has increased by 26.1%; and that current salary levels for the mayor and city council are far below equivalent positions in the private sector and far below the level needed to attract well-qualified and experienced candidates.

Their findings also pointed out that for the 2010 fiscal calendar year, 3,528 city employees had earnings subject to Medicare that exceeded $75,386. (Supporting documentation noted that most of those employees were ranking police officers and fire fighters).

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Comments

JustWondering March 5, 2012 @ 3:28 p.m.

I believe Councilperson Lightner said it best when she pointed out people who run for office aren't doing it for the money. The premise posed by the commission that salary is the driving factor to lure "well qualified and experience candidates" is also faulty. There are litterilly hundreds of people volunteering their time, experience and expertise to, and for the City, on Boards and Commissions without any compensation. Not to mention more than a thousand volunteers working for free within various City Departments. While I am not suguessting Councilmembers should work for free, they do have substantial well paid staffs supporting them, as well as generous budgets to run their offices. While these Councilmembers may not have hand in the disastrous financial decisions made by their predecessors, they certainly knew what shape the City was, and remains in financially. Until this and future Councils and Mayors restore City services to 2003 levels their total compensation should remain frozen too.

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SurfPuppy619 March 5, 2012 @ 4:30 p.m.

The premise posed by the commission that salary is the driving factor to lure "well qualified and experience candidates" is also faulty. There are litterilly hundreds of people volunteering their time, experience and expertise to, and for the City, on Boards and Commissions without any compensation. Not to mention more than a thousand volunteers working for free within various City Departments == Excellent points.

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Twister March 5, 2012 @ 3:50 p.m.

Political stunt.

PS: This "analysis" doesn't count the "fringe" benefits, clear, diffuse, and opaque. And oh, yes, graft.

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SurfPuppy619 March 5, 2012 @ 4:33 p.m.

This "analysis" doesn't count the "fringe" benefits == Considering these people can start drawing a pension after 8 years-at ANY age, the benefits are potentially worth millions.

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Twister March 6, 2012 @ 4:06 p.m.

That's just one. Some aren't even visible.

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Visduh March 5, 2012 @ 10:10 p.m.

Those proposals were so outrageous in these straitened times that nobody could/should have taken them even halfway seriously. The Council would have signed its own political death warrant if it had given itself those raises. But this does keep the salary commission is business. At some future date, when the usual apathetic SD voters are in their typical fog, that group will recommend fat catch-up raises, and councilmembers will quietly and "with some reluctance" go along. But this is not the year for that sort of chicanery, and it may not be so again in this decade. Fix the streets, water mains, sewers and "all that jazz" first!

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Twister March 6, 2012 @ 4:18 p.m.

That's what such cynicism is--election-year window-dressing.

As to streets, time was crews kept up with LITTLE maintenance items like filling cracks before the weeds took over (and BEFORE winter, not during and after), which extended their useful life considerably. When this is not done, the streets crumble at an accelerated pace, thus providing BIG high-profit paving contracts to be let to the properly connected.

Some Council-member recently boasted about the current repaving work as if it were all that was ever done in the way of maintenance.

Attention reporters: Don't take my word for this, dig into the records and plot the work-orders over time. You should see when crack-filling goes down and repaving contracts go up, and you can fit the curves to significant events like elections--much like sports teams up their talent and win games when selling stadiums are at stake (and talent get fired when the heat is off).

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SDUnemployed March 6, 2012 @ 4:22 p.m.

It would have been hypocritical if the council members and mayor voted to give themselves raises while the city employees have been cutting their pay 6% during the economic downturn. It will be interesting how many city employees decide to retire by the end of this month to save their retiree medical benefit.

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villageram March 7, 2012 @ 11:54 a.m.

Gollygee. The Council must be in touch with voters if they vote against a raise. I think that is the message we are suppose to beleive.

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Twister March 7, 2012 @ 3:36 p.m.

U r absqlutely RIGHT!

IT'S ALL A TOTAL CON.

They be shinin' you ON!

That's what they DO!

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