The Santa Clarita City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday evening to boost its own pay by 10 percent, the maximum allowed.
The move bumps up council members’ salaries by $183.26 monthly, from $1,832.57 to $2,015.83.
Council members Marsha McLean, Laurene Weste and Dante Acosta voted for the pay increase. Mayor Bob Kellar and Councilman TimBen Boydston voted “no.”
Kellar and Boydston are up for election this year.
The council last discussed its pay Oct. 27, 2015, and voted against a raise at that time. Then, last month, Acosta, whose term runs through 2018, asked that the council reconsider the matter in January.
On Tuesday the council approved the 5-percent increase that it rejected last year, plus another 5-percent increase for 2016.
The council can raise its own pay by as much as 5 percent annually.
“Members of the Santa Clarita City Council are compensated monthly by the city, under specific provisions of state law, for the substantial amount of time and effort they contribute,” City Manager Ken Striplin said when the subject came up for consideration.
In addition to participating in regular meetings, council members also participate in various community events, meet with constituents on issues of concern to residents and represent the city on regional and statewide boards, commissions and organizations, Striplin continued.
According to government code, councilmember salary is allowed to be increased up to five percent for “each calendar year from the effective date of the last adjustment to salary,” according to Tuesday’s agenda.
Acosta voted against the pay increase when it came up last October.
“I believe I have heard (every current councilperson) say out loud ‘we do not do this because of the money,’” said Boydston. “If that is true, then why don’t we set a good example.”
Boydston suggested the city council take a pay cut by 10 percent and have the Santa Clarita City Manager redistribute the money to the senior population. Other members of the Santa Clarita City Council did not support the idea.
Cam Noltemeyer was the only public speaker on the agenda item and was opposed the increase, saying she “thought this was settled.”
Before Tuesday’s meeting, the last time councilmember salary was increased was on July 1, 2014, where it was increased to $1,832.57 per month.
The increase cannot take effect until after the November 2016 election results are certified by the Los Angeles County Registrar Recorder and the Santa Clarita City Clerk, according to a staff report. The increase will appear on paychecks for the first full pay period of calendar year 2017.