Mayor could increase his stipend

Editor's note: Clarification: Mayor Joe Carchio appointed himself to 20 nonpaying positions as liason and he doesn't attend every meeting. All city committees are required to have a council liason.

Huntington Beach's mayor stands to expand his city stipend by about $4,000 to $17,000 after appointing himself to four paying board positions.

Mayor Joe Carchio appointed himself to the Orange County Sanitation District and West Orange County Water Board and re-appointed himself to the Orange County Vector Control District and the Public Cable Television Authority, according to public documents. The positions would add to the $22,615 stipend the mayor receives from the city.

Carchio also appointed himself to 20 nonpaying city, community and citizens groups — nearly half of the positions offered within the city's borders — as a liason. He does not attend every meeting. All city committees are required to have a council liaison.

"I would be on the board if it paid or not — my main concern is that the city of Huntington Beach is well represented," Carchio said, adding later, "You don't do this job to make money."

Council members don't make an "awful lot" when gas, lunch and the time spent at the meetings is taken into account, Carchio said.

"People think you're making a lot of money, but you're not making a lot of money because you're spending so much time there," he said. "You don't get paid for all the extra time."

The appointments are the "mayor's prerogative," but council members tell the mayor which positions they would prefer, Carchio said.

The council members submit a list of how interested they are in representing the city on each board or commission, and the mayor makes the final decision about who serves where.

Some council members can't serve on as many boards because their work hours conflict with meeting times, Carchio said.

"If you see me on a lot of boards, it's because I have a lot of time," he said.

The appointment to the Orange County Sanitation District is generally rotated, with the mayor taking the position, Carchio said.

In the last five years, three mayors have put themselves on the board, including Cathy Green, Dave Sullivan and Keith Bohr.

The sanitation district pays board members $212.50 per meeting with a maximum of six meetings per month. The seat also reimburses for mileage to the Fountain Valley meetings.

Carchio also appointed himself and Councilman Joe Shaw to the West Orange County Water Board, taking over for past council members Gil Coerper and Jill Hardy, who served on the board for four years.

The water board pays $100 for each of its quarterly meetings.

Carchio reappointed himself to the Orange County Vector Control District, where he has served the last two years after being elected by district members. He recently began his second two-year term. The mayor typically appoints whoever is elected as a formality for the city.

The district pays members $100 a month no matter how many meetings they go to, said District Manager Michael Hearst.

Politicians don't get on the Vector Control District for the money, Hearst said. Carchio didn't get paid for about six meetings he attended last year, he said.

Bohr was appointed along with Carchio to the Public Cable Television Authority, which pays $100 per meeting. This will be their third year serving on the board together.

Carchio also appointed newly elected Councilman Matthew Harper to the Southern California Assn. of Governments District 64, where he stands to collect $120 a meeting up to six meetings a month plus reimbursement for mileage.

In the last five years, Green and Coerper were the only mayors to only appoint themselves to one paying board, according to public records. Bohr, Sullivan and Debbie Cook put themselves on two boards, according to records.

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