The Santa Monica College Board of Trustees voted 5 to 2 against a proposal to pay each trustee a $400-a-month salary for service to the college district.
The state Education Code permits a college the size of Santa Monica to pay its trustees up to $400 a month.
However, trustee Colin Petrie, who voted with the majority, said he was “philosophically opposed to the idea of being paid for service to the community.”
Petrie said trustees already receive health and welfare benefits, free admission to college events and travel expenses when on college business.
But Trustee Fred Beteta said: “My time is worth money. I put a lot more time in this than just an evening meeting a month. It doesn’t taint or hurt my reputation to be serving the board and receiving compensation. The law is there; it has been on the books.”
Santa Monica College officials said that trustees of 17 college districts have opted not to take a salary. Fifty-three districts have.