Archive for Wednesday, June 15, 2005

City council members reject proposal for monthly stipend

June 15, 2005

City Administrator Mike Yanez, calling city council members "among the most significant volunteers in the community," on Monday proposed council members receive a monthly stipend.

"I want to make it real clear to the public that this is my idea to promote this to the city council," Yanez said at Monday night's council meeting. "Certainly this is a loaded question, probably something you might wish you didn't have to deal with."

But city council members backed away from the idea of any type of pay to offset personal expenses -- other than reimbursement for such expenses as travel and meeting registration fees.

Three years ago, the city council adopted a measure under which they could be paid. And council members are paid $1 a year, which they donate back to the city. Yanez had proposed a stipend of $50 to $100 a month.

"I appreciate what you just said about the council," council member Ron Cranor said. "It has been grueling at times and time consuming and we do a lot of things that people don't appreciate. And I appreciate that you've acknowledged that."

Council member Velda Roberts said she wasn't interested in a monthly stipend.

"I came to this position knowing that I was not being paid a salary but I could be reimbursed for reasonable expenses," she said.

Council members are reimbursed for mileage at the rate paid federal workers, which currently stands at 40.5 cents a mile, according to Kathy Bard, assistant city administrator.

Council members Steve Gumm and Jim Truesdell agreed with Roberts. "I knew what I was getting into when I started and I would prefer not to get paid," Gumm said.

Cranor, with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek and grinning widely, said, "If you really want to give me some money, give me about $12,000 a year."

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