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Voters to decide when council gets raise

Tim Willert

GLENDALE CITY HALL -- The City Council is looking to more than double

its monthly pay, but wants voters to decide when the increases would take

effect.

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At issue are provisions in the city charter and the state government

code, which differ on when pay raises would be implemented and which

council members would receive them first.

Under state government code -- which permits each council members

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monthly salary to increase from $800 to $1,746 -- the hikes would not be

applied during a council member’s existing term, but be phased in over

the 2003 and 2005 elections.

According to a provision in the charter, only Mayor Rafi Manoukian and

Councilman Gus Gomez -- if they are reelected in April -- would receive

pay boosts. The remaining three would not be eligible until and unless

they are elected to another term.

The council can repeal the charter provision, leaving it up to voters

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to decide whether the entire council can receive the raises during their

existing terms.

“The only way to do it is to let the voters decide,” Councilman Dave

Weaver said. “Put it on the ballot and if [the public] wants to grant it

to us if it’s deserving, then we all equally get it at the same time.”

The council decided late Tuesday to wait a week to proceed so they can

discuss repealing the charter provision.

In addition to the proposed salary increases, Councilman Bob Yousefian

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also suggested eliminating a $340 monthly car allowance each member

receives for serving on the Redevelopment Agency in favor of a $2,000

monthly stiped.

“I don’t think that’s an exorbitant amount of money if you look at the

amount of time we spend in here,” Yousefian said.

Council members, who are not paid a stipend for serving on the Housing

Authority, favor a $50-per-meeting stipend allowed in the state code.

Resident Carol Sussman believes the council deserves a pay hike

because of the time members spend representing a city that has grown in

size and responsibility.

“We must pay our City Council a living wage, not maintain them on the

poverty level,” Sussman told the council.

Manoukian agreed.

“I think everyone deserves it,” he said. “I think the city has changed

and I’ll go along with it.”


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