Had it not been for the City of Bell, I do not believe that City Council compensation would have been a topic of discussion in this election. But it happened, and now we want to see the detailed figures.
I’ll go ahead and say it: I do not believe the compensation package offered to our City Council Members is too much. I believe it represents a fairly balanced compensation package for the size of our city and revenue generating capacity. The figure of approximately $53K+ per year was first made public by the Simi Valley Police Officers Association when they chose to publish the figure in an ad in the Simi Valley Acorn, so these figures aren’t a surprise to me now. I think there are a number of reasons why an organized entity would want to provide appealing compensation packages to those who represent key roles, all of which are subjective and arguable by anyone. Nevertheless, considering our city’s size and bottom line, I do not believe the compensation offered is out of line.
I respect and appreciate the challenging candidates for City Council who are openly opting out of receiving additional benefits on top of the base salary of approximately $14K per year. However, I would not hold it against any of them if they chose to change their minds on that position.
Along the same lines, I also believe the published salary for our City Manager represents fair compensation. I equate the job of the City Manager to that of a CEO of a corporation. A CEO of a small corporation earning just over $1.2 million annually will earn less than a CEO of a public corporation earning billions of dollars year over year. Again, based on the size and revenue generation of our city, I believe the City Manager’s salary is fair. Of course, this is a view point I highly expect will be argued by some.
Regarding City Council Members, if these are the people I’m voting for, I want them to be fairly compensated for what they do. So long as the compensation package is a fair representation of the City’s ability to generate revenue and the actual job itself, then it’s really not a concern for me. In the case of the City of Bell, the compensation did not match the city or the job at all. I completely anticipate that a number of readers will disagree with me, but after a few days of consideration, this was the conclusion I have come to.
To put it into perspective, click here to see the Los Angeles Salary Database. Those are some impressive salaries, all of which we can debate. But the bottom line is the city can support those salaries and they keep them where they are to support employee retention and to be competitive.
On another note, I’m quitting my job immediately and going right in to Los Angeles City Government!