Arroyo Grande City Council seeks a 60 percent pay raise

November 9, 2019

Mayor Caren Ray Russom


The Arroyo Grande City Council will consider granting itself a 60 percent pay raise at its meeting on Tuesday, according to the agenda. [Cal Coast Times]

In September, Mayor Caren Ray-Russom asked staff to review council member salaries because other city councils were receiving more money. City council stipends were originally provided to cover the cost of attending meetings, but have since grown to include large benefit packages.

And while Arroyo Grande’s $405 monthly city council pay is the lowest, their medical package is the second largest in San Luis Obispo County, making their monthly pay with benefits in the upper range.

Monthly pay with health benefits for a council member and two dependents:

Arroyo Grande – $2,122

Atascadero – $1,414

Grover Beach – $600

Morro Bay – $1,138

Paso Robles – $2,158

Pismo Beach – $2,875

San Luis Obispo – $2,596

While looking to increase their monthly pay, the city council is also working to raise residential utility bills.

Currently experiencing a $3.5 million shortfall for infrastructure repairs, city officials are considering raising water and wastewater rates, and initiating a stormwater management tax.

On Tuesday, the council will consider four options: vote to increase their salaries by 60 percent; vote to increase council member salaries by 60 percent, and the mayor by more than 60 percent; make no changes; or provide staff with different instructions.


So AG, how’s dumping Jim Hill working out for you?


I’m hearing a lot of buyers remorse, it’s surprising what it takes to convince some people she’s not what/who she pretended to be, but she’s doing it!


They did it. Voted themselves the 60% raise plus $150 a month additional for the mayor, all to begin in 2020.

Jorge Estrada

This was a public process and let it be known that the public has allowed this. Since I am not a resident of Arroyo Grande Wages, I guess they have the money?


The public didn’t vote the council a raise, the council did this by themselves. Hopefully the voters will remember this next November, I will. And no we do not have the money, but that didn’t seem to matter to the council.



Dump her, we all know what she’s really about.


Elected officials know what their benefits are when running for office. Arroyo Grande’s payment, with health benefits, is one of the highest in the County. I suggest the City Council members who support this increase step down and find real jobs to earn income and health benefits.

Jorge Estrada

Quid Pro Quo? If it doesn’t happen what are we the public going to loose?


How ’bout the trust of your constituents? Or maybe you also believe if it isn’t found out it doesn’t happen. Jorge, you’re not makin’ much sense….

Jorge Estrada

You are right I not making sense, none of it does.

Jorge Estrada

If you owe less than $314,827 just pay it off and ignore these scams.


Almost seems like a conflict of interest for the Council members tangle with the health insurance.

It benefits them greatly not to put limits on City’s contribution!

Thanks to Steve Adams and Big Tony, the City of Arroyo Grande has NEVER SUCCESSFULLY negotiated any kind of limit or cap to the health insurance provided to full time employees.

Boy! Are they well paid. Most employers pay only a PORTION with the employee also having skin in the game.

The City can’t pay for roads, the Briscoe mess has been on the agenda for over two decades, and they have been giving the house away to the few employees they still have.

What a mess!

Give the Council a 5% pay raise for this year, once they cap their insurance!

Fools, all of them.


Hahahaha!!!!!!! First time she was on council she proved to be self serving or Tony’s lackey….this is just more of the self serving entitlement attitude that people still elect


More than once I’ve heard current mayor Russum say ‘i’m in a position of power . . . ‘ That’s very telling. Don’t you think someone who wants to serve the community would refer to ‘leadership’ instead of ‘power’? There’s a big difference if you ask me. This self-appointed ‘power’ will undoubtedly enrich herself. And a very apparent one will be the pay raise. Where’s the leadership in that?


More than once I’ve heard current mayor Russum say ‘i’m in a position of power . . I seem to recall sheriff Barney Fife tell Andy that more than once too.


“…position of power.” Yes, and Arroyo Grande is so important and the intellectual hot spot in the county/state/country/world – No one ever said! It appears anyone who makes such a statement has nothing else going on of importance.