City Councilmembers Vote No on Salary Increases

An ordinance to increase the city council’s salary was discussed at the Aug. 3 City Council meeting.

The ordinance was looking to increase the city council’s salary by as much as 10 percent, an increase to $1,601 per month, to be effective after the March 2021 election.

The council was given three options to choose from to make an adjustment in their salaries. The first option was to increase their salary by 10 percent. The second option was to increase the salary to an amount equal to what city employees receive over a two year term. The third option was to take no action and leave the salary as is.

Councilmember Ashbeck mentioned that this reminded her of 2008 when the council didn’t take a raise because things looked uncertain. Ashbeck motioned to do option three and not take the raise because she said that it didn’t seem like the time to take a raise of any size.

Councilmember Bob Whalen said he didn’t know what to expect for the upcoming years, but that being in the council was a labor of love for the councilmembers.

“To forgo the increase is a very minor sacrifice for us to make, but symbolically it might set the tone.” Whalen said.

Councilmember Vong Mouanoutoua and Mayor Pro Tem Jose Flores both concurred with Ashbeck and Whalen in that taking a raise at this time is not what the city needs. Bessinger also agreed with the council and said that not taking the raise was the right thing to do.

The motioned to adopt option three and take no action was voted on and passed unanimously by the council.

Jorge Rodriguez
Jorge Rodriguez has a passion for journalism and wants to bring the community information and great stories. After high school Jorge joined the U.S. Army and while in active duty he was deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While in college he worked for the Fresno City College Rampage and the Fresno State Collegian newspapers. He graduated from Fresno State in 2019 with a degree in print journalism.