City Elected Officials Vote to Increase Pay

Last increase for council members was in 2003.

Written by TIFFANY KHA / Published August 10, 2012 

The compensation Temple City’s elected officials receive may rise to $720 per month if council members again vote to increase their pay.

City councilmembers recently voted 3-2, with Councilmembers Carl Blum and Tom Chavez dissenting, to adopt Ordinance 12-954. The ordinance changes an elected officials’ monthly salary from $480 to $720.

“We spend an inordinate amount of time in council business,” Councilman Fernando Vizcarra said. “There’s been a lot of midnights here in these meetings…I really don’t have a problem with an increase. I think it’s justified. I think it’s earned.”

Mayor Vincent Yu agreed, “We also spend a lot of time preparing for city council meetings.” The mayor also stated that council members spend 20-30 hours each week on city business.

Regarding the pay increase, Mayor Pro Tempore Cynthia Sternquist said the additional money could make a difference for future council members who were not retired.

“For the people that come after me, it’s something that we need to do,” she said.

Councilmember Blum stated he appreciated the “vote of confidence” but asked his colleagues to delay the item until the following city council meeting.

“I’m inclined to continue this item to hear back from more people,” he said.

Councilmember Tom Chavez supported Mr. Blum’s proposal, saying “I would like to see more feedback.” Mr. Chavez also stated that he felt “uncomfortable” supporting the increase with a bad economy.

According to documents from City Hall, the last time the city council received a pay increase was in 2003. Since then, at least one attempt has been made to increase city council compensation, though that was unsuccessful.

However, the pay increase will not take effect until March 2013, City Attorney Eric Vail said.

“The increases or adjustments in compensation only take place after we have an election,” he said.

The city council will have to approve Ordinance 12-954 again in order for it to become law. Councilmembers will likely vote again on the proposal in June.

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