San Luis Obispo City Council seeks a 63 percent pay raise

February 4, 2020


Despite the city’s distressing financial situation, on Tuesday the San Luis Obispo City Council will consider granting members a 63 percent pay raise and the mayor a 46 percent increase in compensation, according to the agenda.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, members will consider raising their compensation from $1,224 to $1,990 and the mayor’s pay from $1,725 to $2,508. In late 2018, the council voted to award Mayor Heidi Harmon a 15 percent increase in pay, while the rest of the council received 2 percent raises.

City council stipends were originally provided to cover the cost of attending meetings, but have since grown to include substantial benefit packages and monthly income.

In a letter to constituents seeking support for the pay raises, Mayor Heidi Harmon compares her stipend to full-time employee salaries.

“Recommending a monthly increase for Mayor from $1,725 to $2,508, which equates to $30,996 annually from $20,700,” Harmon writes. “This is 63 percent of the median income, based on $48,000.”

Mayors throughout the county have generally held full-time jobs or have been in retirement while serving as mayor. For example, Arroyo Grande Mayor Caren Ray-Russom is a teacher at Santa Maria High School and Grover Beach Mayor Jeff Lee works in the San Luis Obispo County Public Works Department.

The SLO City Council is considering the raises despite the city recently incurring a multi-million dollar budget shortfall due to rising pension costs. Over the past 15 years, the city’s unfunded pension liabilities have gone from $0 to more than $150 million.

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The goal is a full-time paid SLO Progressive activist council, no people committed to honest community service.

30k not really important when the city is facing $150 million in pension liability. Now, if Mayor Harmon can come up with a solution for that problem then she will be worth every penny. At any rate, I marvel at all the complaints against the current city council. There is one sure fire way to get rid of them—VOTE them out. Mobilize, run viable candidates and win. Most of you sound like a bunch of whining Democrats who constantly wring their hands about Trump, yet are on the verge of nominating Bernie Sanders as their candidate which is totally antithetical to solving their problem.

Hey Jorge, your comment is sexist, rude and not even on point.

This is exactly why women are marching and protesting, still, in 2020.

Get with the times and stop living with the mindset of an non-evolved male human.

And the men on here – thanks for not having our back, yet again, when you see this behavior.

They have really lost their minds… they see plastic straws, plastic bags, shampoo bottles, Amazon, Facebook and fossil fuels as the ultimate enemy, ignore the growing homeless situation, the mayor really disdains any white folk, especially white men, hates cars and people who own homes. Hates large homes, hates those who don’t ride bikes everywhere and NOW they want to TAKE more money from the taxpayer to spew these asinine ideas on us? They really have lost their damn minds.

A better justification would be that she is 63% more beautiful than the last Mayor. But then again, what does math have to do with any of this?

Hey, that’s kinda funny Jorge