Council May Agree to 10 Percent Pay Cut

A staff report to the Antioch City Council, which will be meeting on July 12th, presents the council with a resolution to extend the council’s prior resolutions encouraging each City of Antioch elected official (mayor, city council member, city treasurer and city clerk) to voluntarily agree to an irrevocable 10 percent reduction in their salaries and a $100 monthly decrease in their auto allowance for the fiscal year 2011-2012.

Prior to the November 2012 election, the council could revisit whether it wants to rescind the resolution and make any changes in compensation permanent by ordinance.

The staff report points out that the maximum council salary is determined by a statutory formula based on population or by increases of no more than 5 percent for each calendar year from when the last salary adjustment was adopted pursuant to an ordinance. While Antioch, a general law city, can not reduce the salaries of council members during their current terms of office, an increase for all council members can occur when one or more is eligible for a salary increase because of starting a new term of office.

The report does not address the recent Contra Costa County Grand Jury Report (2010-2011) which found that 8 of the county’s 16 cities spend more than the countywide average of $39,377 for salary and meeting fees. The cities are: Antioch, Concord, Danville, Hercules, Martinez, Richmond, San Pablo and San Ramon.

The Grand Jury also found that 12 cities and 9 special districts prove health care benefits, and 12 cities and 3 special districts provide pension benefits with potential long term financial implications. Antioch provides both health benefits and pension benefits to elected officials.

Antioch, mandated to reply, responded to the Grand Jury report by saying the city partially agreed with the findings regarding salary and meeting fees but questions the value of a simple mathematical average for cities with varying populations.

The City also agreed that, in order to increase transparency, it would combine council compensation and benefits and include that document in its annual review and in the future will review its policy of pension or deferred compensation for Council members. The staff report for the July 12th meeting, however, doesn’t address the council’s health and pension benefits.

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