Carlsbad subcommittee recommends limiting council compensation

Carlsbad subcommittee recommends limiting council compensation
A subcommittee recommended limiting future salary increases and basing raises on the San Diego Regional Consumer Price Index, which was at 2.8 percent in 2017. Courtesy photo

CARLSBAD — Voters will determine compensation for the City Council after the body approved a measure during its Sept. 18 meeting.

A subcommittee consisting of Councilman Michael Schumacher and Mark Packard recommended limiting future salary increases and basing raises on the San Diego Regional Consumer Price Index, which was at 2.8 percent in 2017, and to eliminate any retroactive increases.

The council can accept the index raise or waive it. If it is waived, the council cannot change the measure without a public vote.

In the case of a vote, Packard said the city could “piggyback” off a special election to keep costs down or submit the measure to the 2020 general election.

Currently, the mayor earns $25,826.04 per year, while council members earn $24,626.04. Each position also earns $100 per water board meeting, $75 per Community Development Commission meeting, with vehicle allowances of $450 for the mayor and $350 for each council member.

Packard said the recommendations came about as Carlsbad is a charter city and service to the city should be the primary goal, not a profession. Schumacher said it feels awkward to discuss pay raises.

“It’s still not appropriate that council members be full-time positions,” Packard said. “Council is a policy body, not an operational body. As council members, we are not qualified to make operational decisions.”

Packard said the motivation for serving on the council should be to serve the public interest, not for a job.

As a general law city, government code allows for up to a 5 percent raise each year. The city has only had two actions regarding compensation over the past 10 years with a 5 percent decrease in 2009 and another, a 47.7 percent increase in 2015 to cover several years of no raises, according to the staff report.

Schumacher, meanwhile, spoke about his duties, along with Councilman Keith Blackburn, on the Encina Wastewater Authority board of directors.

“Every year the topic of compensation would come up,” Schumacher said. “It was always very awkward talking about your own salary and raises. It’s very difficult to do comparisons from city to city. We put together these mechanisms (cost of living index) in place … so can avoid wasting staff time on these analyses.”

In comparison to other North County cities, Carlsbad has the fourth highest pay for its mayor and council members, according to the staff report. Escondido’s mayor, currently Sam Abed, earns $62,149, with Vista and Oceanside mayors earning more than $30,000. Those council members earn more than $27,000 (Escondido) to more than slightly more than $30,000 in Vista and Oceanside.

4 Comments
  1. Addie 3 months ago

    Matt Hall should be embarrassed to take any amount of money for what he does. Let’s solve the problem for him. Vote for Cori.

  2. Amanda 3 months ago

    Four of the five people on Council voting Tuesday morning, really could care what they are paid. The only member that seemed visibly upset by this good decision was Cori Schumacher. It may be true that at the end of the debate she voted with the majority because of the political implications for her campaign, but one got the sense that Cori had already spent the raise she planned for next year in her mind. It is well known that the only time in her tenure on the podium Cori has attempted to work with her colleagues was to enlist their support for a pay raise. Why she is attempting to elect a slate of vassals in November is well known. It’s because she lacks the political and interpersonal skills to deal with independent thought. It’s a slam dunk that the voters will not ever support a living wage for the Cori-crats to become full time professional politicians. It’s a very good thing.

  3. Addie 3 months ago

    Amanda,
    You really ought to check in with reality once in a while. And please stop using a fake name. We know who you are.

  4. Lowell 3 months ago

    The great thing about living in the Information Age is that it’s so easy to call out liars by directing people to the facts. If one looks a the City’s website there is a public record. Cori has in fact voted along with the rest of council many times. She is not partisan..she uses common sense, something sorely lacking in many of Hall’s supporters who merely want to hold tightly to their stranglehold on local control of everything. One can also peruse the Financial Disclosures to see where Hall’s money comes from. Draw your own conclusions. An informed electorate is our greatest asset. Stop believing the lies spewed by Cori-haters. They didn’t work last time and they won’t work this time either.

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