La Puente City Council mulls a raise

first_imgSince 1984, the state statutory limit for council members’ salaries has been $400 a month for cities with a population between 35,001 and 50,000, Cowley said. La Puente has about 43,000 residents. But codes allow for an additional scheduled increase – 5 percent per year based on approval by the municipality, Cowley said. In 2002, some La Puente officials tried unsuccessfully to increase salaries by $115 per month. The measure did not garner enough votes from council members. A year later, a second attempt was made, but community pressure resulted in a unanimous council decision to vote down what would have been a $525-per- month increase. “It wasn’t successful for the simple reason that some elected officials are squeamish about asking for a raise,” Mayor Lou Perez said. “The truth is the residents of La Puente want to see their elected officials get paid for what they do.” Perez compared the City Council to any other job with demanding commitments and said that for the last 16 years, wages have not reflected even a bare increase in the cost of living. “By the time we get through sponsoring leagues and doing all that stuff your salary is gone,” he said. “And you know you have to wear respectable clothes. You’re representing the city. You got out, buy a suit and that’s money. The money we get doesn’t even cover the expense of clothing.” But Councilwoman Lola Storing, who has long opposed wage hikes, said members should not be profiting from their service to the community. “It’s a voluntary thing you do, not a professional job,” she said. “We’re serving the community, and I think we’re paid sufficiently to do that. We cover our expenses and that’s all we need.” In Covina, which has a population of about 47,000 according to the city’s Web site, council members are paid $400 a month, plus an additional $30 per redevelopment agency meeting, Covina city spokeswoman Bobbie Kemp said. Glendora City Council members – who represent a population of more than 50,000 – make $700 a month and an additional $30 per redevelopment agency meeting, Glendora officials said. If approved tonight, salary increases in La Puente would take effect after the November election. Cowley said regardless of what happens tonight, officials are expecting some of kind of increase come January. Assembly Bill 701, currently making its way through the Legislature, proposes a $400 increase in the statutory limit for council salaries for cities with a population of 35,001 to 50,000, she said. “That’s a bill that’s pending right now and is expected to pass,” Cowley said. “The timing is appropriate because even the state is beginning to realize councils should be paid more.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2109 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LA PUENTE – Council members will consider nearly doubling their monthly salaries tonight – the third attempt in six years to approve pay increases. A staff report suggests members should increase their monthly income from $536 per month to $1,000 per month. The La Puente City Council has not had a pay raise since 1991, and based on current work loads a raise is definitely due, City Manager Carol Cowley said. “We’ve got so many major projects going on right now,” she said. “There’s a lot more time being put into City Hall and what’s going on here than we’re used to.” last_img read more