SLO Council planning another pay raise

April 30, 2018

Mayor Heidi Harmon, council members Dan Rivoire, Carlyn Christianson, Aaron Gomez and Andy Pease.

The San Luis Obispo City Council will consider granting itself a 10 percent pay raise at its meeting on Tuesday. [Cal Coast Times]

In line with a recommendation from a city council compensation committee, the base salary for San Luis Obispo’s mayor would rise to nearly $20,000 a year. The mayor and council member positions are part-time jobs, though some of the officeholders often bemoan the amount of time they choose to spend on city related matters.

If the council approves the committee’s recommendation, the mayor’s base pay would rise from $1,500 to $1,650 a month and council member salaries would increase from $1,200 to $1,320. Annually, the mayor will make $19,800 in base pay, and council members will receive $15,840, if the salary increases are approved. In all, the raises would cost the city an additional $7,560 a year.

Mayor Heidi Harmon

Furthermore, the compensation committee recommended the council increase the stipends that members of the planning commission and architectural review commission receive. The proposal calls for increasing the stipends from $60 to $70 a meeting.

Raising the commissioners’ stipends would have a total cost to the city of up to $3,920 a year.

The pay for both council members and planning and architectural review commissioners has previously increased in recent years. Following a 2014 compensation committee recommendation, the mayor’s base pay rose from $1,200 to $1,500 a month and council members’ salaries increased from $1,000 to $1,200 a month.

Meanwhile, commissioner pay has nearly tripled over the past two decades. In 2000, the compensation for planning and architectural review commissioners was just $25 per meeting.

San Luis Obispo council members can additionally collect benefits worth several thousand dollars or more. In 2013, prior to the latest council pay raise, then-councilman John Ashbaugh received $29,769 in total compensation, more than half of which came in the form of benefits.


Are most people happy with the way SLO is being run?

Are these economic boom times?

Are the wages for everyone else also rising?

Are we having trouble attracting talented leaders away from private sector work?

Have these people complained about affording their lifestyle or being able to do their jobs?

If you answered NO to all of these….then why should we raise their compensation?




Honestly folks, how is Harmon supposed to update her hair flower ornamentation collection without a raise? Citizens should pay more attention the the rising costs of a serious silk flower and kick down!

Kristen Barneich has citizens of Arroyo Grande pay her entire family’s insurance premiums all the while her husband is a Fire Captain in Santa Maria.

What a racket. The taxpayer rip off starts early in ones political career.


Well the fox is guarding the hen house. Did anyone expect the compensation committee to deny a pay raise to the council and others? How do you justify all of these benefits for a part time job that lasts for 4 years? I guess if you are running your business with a multi million dollar deficit it only justifies the raise for a job well done. And I guess while you are at it just raise all of the fees and taxes that you can to pay for all of this. The citizens of SLO should be in an uproar. If they allow this to happen then they only have themselves to blame.

The Identarian

Do like Oxnard. Recall the lousy SOB’s.

George Bailey


Fire SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon and the SLO Progressive city council.

This attempt by these hypocrites to feather their own nest just shows what they are really about, and it’s about time that voters show these people the door. As if it’s not enough to drive the cities finances into the ditch, now they want to be rewarded for their incompetence. Let’s let Mayor Heidi Harmon and her minions on the city council go try to get raises in the private sector, because I strongly suspect these are the type of people that would be fired if they had to go out and get a real job.

Enough is enough.



Speaking of compensation packages… try this one on for size: In District 2, County Supervisor. Bruce Gibson and his wife, er, Legislative Asst, are demanding almost ONE MILLION DOLLARS over the next four years from the taxpayers pockets if re-elected. Outrageous! (source:

***Time for this career politician and his family to try earning a living in the real world again! Bruce Must Go!***


Who is on the compensation committee? not the council members I hope!!


I think it is important to not ONLY mention the salary but equally and more important is the benefits the Council gets. There is health insurance, retirement through PERS (in the hole $160 MILLION), deferred comp. etc. The salary is only a token of the cost to the taxpayers. Look at their individual City Budget Line Item for each Member!