Local News in Brief : Tustin : Council Tables Proposal to Vote Itself a Raise

City Council members Monday night tabled a controversial proposal to vote themselves a 10% pay raise, which would have increased their monthly salaries from $400 to $440.

The council last voted itself a salary increase in September, 1985. Councilwoman Ursula Kennedy said another salary increase is needed to keep parity with the higher cost of living.

State law allows city governing bodies to vote themselves pay increases of up to 5% annually. Councilman Ronald B. Hoesterey said the council had a responsibility to enact an increase this year "to at least keep this process going" for future Tustin council bodies.

However, two of the five council members voiced opposition to any increase.

"With $40 here and $40 there, you're soon talking about a lot of money," said Councilman Earl J. Prescott.

Prescott said continued salary increases eventually would result in full-time paid politicians in the city, which he opposes.

Councilman John Kelly said: "I can't support this. I don't think it's necessary."

The council agreed to take up the issue again at its next meeting in two weeks. If council members decide not to vote themselves a raise, they have the option of putting the matter on a citywide ballot for the people to decide, an option favored by Kennedy.

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