'Service Fees' Would Triple Council Pay in Anaheim

Times Staff Writer

Anaheim City Council members today will consider whether to approve giving fees to themselves for service as members of two city agencies--an action that would, in effect, triple their salaries.

Council members currently receive no compensation for their service on the city's Redevelopment Agency and Housing Authority.

At least one council member called the fees--which are on Tuesday's City Council consent calendar agenda in the form of resolutions that usually are adopted without discussion or debate--a "subterfuge" and an attempt to raise council salaries without taking the issue to the voters.

Members of Both

The resolutions would establish stipends for each meeting attended by members of the city Redevelopment Agency and Housing Authority. The five City Council members sit as both the Redevelopment Agency and the Housing Authority before the weekly City Council meetings.

Redevelopment Agency members would receive $150 for each meeting attended, while Housing Authority members would get $50 per meeting.

Under current provision of the city charter, adopted in 1964, council members receive a salary of $400 a month, while the mayor receives a monthly salary of $800.

If the resolutions are approved, council members will receive a total of $1,200 per month and the mayor $1,600 a month if they attend all the meetings.

City Atty. Jack L. White said revisions of the city's charter, to raise council salaries for example, would have to be put on a ballot and would require a majority vote to be approved.

But White said establishing a stipend for council members in their roles as Redevelopment Agency and Housing Authority members does not conflict with the city charter because, under state law, council members may compensate themselves for serving on other city agencies.

"It's a raise for the council members, but for their duties as Redevelopment Agency and Housing Authority members," White said.

Councilwoman Miriam Kaywood, however, said the action is an attempt to fool the public. Kaywood said she is opposed to the raise and will seek to remove the item from the consent calendar so that it can be discussed. The consent calendar, which often consists of several items and resolutions, is routinely acted upon with a single vote by council members.

"I am opposed to this subterfuge," Kaywood said. "The city charter states what the council compensation should be. If we want a raise, we should take it to the voters."

Mayor Ben Bay and Councilmen Fred Hunter, William D. Ehrle and Irv Pickler could not be reached Monday for comment.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World