SLO gives Mayor Heidi Harmon a raise

May 3, 2018

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

Rather than approving across-the-board 10 percent raises, as proposed by a special committee, the San Luis Obispo City Council decided Tuesday to increase the mayor’s base pay by 15 percent while raising council member salaries by 2 percent.

The council voted 4-1 for the pay raises. Mayor Heidi Harmon, who stood to benefit the most financially from the move, did not case the dissenting vote. Rather, Harmon voted in favor of her pay raise, and Councilman Dan Rivoire was the lone dissenter.

“Ultimately it’s not for ourselves, right?” Harmon said. “Just like everything else we do, is it the right thing to do or not, regardless?”

Harmon said, even following the raises, the mayoral and council positions will not be compensated with livable wages.

“These are positions that demand a lot and they deserve to be recognized in that way I think,” Harmon said.

Mayor Heidi Harmon

When the raises take effect next year, the mayor’s salary will rise to slightly more than $20,000. That does not include benefits, which can amount to more than $10,000 in additional compensation.

The mayor and council members positions are part-time positions, though some of the officeholders often bemoan the amount of time they choose to spend on city related matters. On Tuesday, Councilman Aaron Gomez described the mayor’s job as a “beyond full-time gig.” Gomez also said it is politically untenable to give yourself a raise, but then voted for increasing council member compensation.

Other council members said it is necessary to raise their own pay so there can be a greater diversity of candidates seeking office in SLO. Multiple council members said they would be “kicking the can down the road” by not approving the raises.

Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, a council compensation committee recommended raising the base pay of all council members, including the mayor, by 10 percent. The committee also recommended slight increases to the stipends that planning and architectural review commissioners receive.

During the meeting, Councilwoman Andy Pease suggested a 15 percent increase for the mayor and 2 percent increases for council members. The council voted for Pease’s motion, which also included $10 stipend increases for members of the architectural review commission and planning commission, as the compensation committee had suggested.


“Ultimately it’s not for ourselves, right?”

I love that line.


I’m sure Bernie Sanders would approve.


Ahhhhh…this is good.

Now Heidi can afford to freshen up her fake floral hair accessories.

SLO really is the happiest town in America!



George Bailey

“Ultimately it’s not for ourselves, right?” Harmon said. “Just like everything else we do, is it the right thing to do or not, regardless?”

Dear Heidi Harmon,

I was taught by my dad that it was ‘better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open my my mouth and remove all doubt’, and the words come to mind as I read what you said about voting yourself a raise.

Being the mayor of a small town is PART TIME work, and there is no valid justification for your trying to convert this position into a full time job as a professional politician. The City of San Luis Obispo will be much better off if you pull back a little, and quit trying to turn this once-fine city into a ‘socialists paradise’. Instead of the ‘progressive fixation’ on expanding the size and scope of government, please work to keep local government small, taxes low, and the city finances in balance. As it stands, you progressives are leading us towards higher taxes, less freedom and a government debt that is unsustainable.

If you are going to take more money for yourself, and eat at the public trough, at least do your job by representing ALL political perspectives and be responsible to the taxpaying public, who is forced to pay your bills.

Just saying,



“Ultimately it’s not for ourselves, right?” Harmon said. “Just like everything else we do, is it the right thing to do or not, regardless?”

I’m not sure I follow this.

Though, it is piddly in comparison with many government ‘for the public’ positions.


You give yourself a raise on top of your overpaid wages now and you want to raise tax’s on the voters that don’t make a ” livable” wage for themselves. What a joke!!!!!!!!


The hardest working Mayor in the County,Jim Hill, get’s $405.00 a month for being Arroyo Grande’s Mayor.


Ridiculous! They all knew what they were getting into. The bottom line is that most local officials would do it for nothing just for the ego and power trip. These people work for the citizens/taxpayers and any pay raise or benefit packages should be approved by the voters just like other jobs based on job performance.


What government job is paid based on performance?

If that were the case taxpayers would be getting refunds.

Unfortunately there are a lot of government employees who receive very good pay but we could easily do without their services. The bureaucratic layers are unnecessarily thick.