Council votes 3 to 2 for pay raise

mltc3_19_14Mammoth Town Council members held their ground on their views of a pay raise for the Council. Their not so fabulous pay of $300 per month is set in Government Code but does allow a 5% increase annually. The Council never did vote in those raises for the past 29 years. On a 3 to 2 vote, the Council will make $735 per month. They also enjoy health benefits.

At their last meeting, Council members Matthew Lehman, Michael Raimondo and Jo Bacon made it clear that they supported the raise to help the not so wealthy have more incentive to run for office and, at least, not lose money. Councilmen John Eastman and Rick Wood strongly opposed the raise saying the timing was wrong and people do not run for Council for the money.

At the most recent meeting, Councilman Eastman said he respected his colleagues but said he felt strongly about not granting a pay raise. He said the bad snow year could mean a $1 million shortfall. Said Eastman, “We struggled to fund Whitmore and the Fourth of July.” He said on one hand, the Council asked for employees to make sacrifices and on the other hand now want a 245% salary increase. Delay this, he said, until Town government stabilizes.

Councilwoman Jo Bacon said budget plans include use of $385,000 from the Reserve for Economic Uncertainty, not $1 million. Since the Town incorporated, she said, the Consumer Price Index has gone up. She said she serves on Council for the challenge but others may need more pay to “run for the crazy job.”

Michael Raimondo said the pay raise would help future candidates. Matthew Lehman said he respected all that was said. Mayor Rick Wood said the raise made no sense and that candidates are not running for the money. Rich McAteer commented that he did not object to the Council pay raise and that candidates will be shocked at how much time the job takes. Council Candidate Cleland Hoff called the Council decision a tough one.

As expected, Lehman, Bacon and Raimondo voted yes. Eastman and Wood voted no. The pay raise goes into effect July 1 or upon seating of the new Council, whichever is later.

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19 Responses to Council votes 3 to 2 for pay raise

  1. Curious 2.1 March 25, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    While your at it B.K. will you also check other same size town compensations for council members in California apples to apples, instead of the apples to oranges comparison?

  2. 86Heard March 24, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

    Will you also opt out of receiving a cash stipend in lieu of health insurance?

    • Cleland Hoff March 25, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

      Moot point. Although that may be an option for some Town employees, it is not an option for Town Council members.


  3. Cleland Hoff March 24, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

    Hi guys, I’m glad to see your posts.
    I spoke up at the meeting because what the Council had to vote on was my one political nightmare. I wouldn’t vote myself a raise. However, the time commitment and energy now needed to serve on Town Council is unreasonable and I was very happy they have raised the stipend. What would have been the civil thing to do is to have the other two departing council members (Lehman knows what a time-suck Town Council is now, so he voted for it) take any lumps for the decision for the raise. This was the perfect time.

    As for insurance, if elected, I’m not opting into the Town’s plan unless:
    1) For some legal reason, I have to.
    2) Something isn’t covered by our current plan.

    Yes, my husband has had health challenges in the last few years. I do not want to deal with any more insurance changes, now that we have our routine established. He has and is getting the treatment he needs. Not going to fix what isn’t broken.

    You can find Cleland Hoff for Town Council on Facebook to follow my journey of running for office (and comment). I am not spending any money on my campaign and I don’t have any group backing me or committee to help get me elected. It is a boots on the ground campaign.

    I was in Vons last night and told a friend I was running for Town Council. His response? ‘Finally a poor person running for office’. I have to laugh, because I feel as though I am one of the richest people in the world. I hope to bring that feeling to my ‘Mammoth family’.


  4. Charles O. Jones March 24, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    Wrong time, wrong place.
    How these three council members can lead a city that is heavily in debt, has cut positions, has decimated their police department and then see clear to vote themselves a BIG FAT RAISE is beyond me. This is one the poorest examples of leadership I have seen in a long, long time.

  5. Bob March 24, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    “Mayor Rick Wood said the raise made no sense and that candidates are not running for the money.”

    I have to agree and with that I don’t see TOML ever being run as well as it should.

  6. johneliot March 21, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    From my calculations, if you take the $300 salary, take 5% of that which is $15, add that to $300, the new salary is $315. Take 5% of that, and so on, it takes about 18 years of raises to get to the $735 number. So the laws says if you don’t take the 5% you can come back 20 + years down the line and retro the total percent? Amazing!

    • Benett Kessler March 21, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

      I don’t think you can accumulate the raises. It’s 29 years of 5% per year.

  7. johneliot March 21, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    Could you clarify for me? The council currently makes $3600 a year. They will now make $8820 a year. Obviously this more than doubles their salary. Does the code allow them to go back all those years they did not take a raise and add them up and take them all at once? How did they come up with the 245% number? It seems as if they decided that they should go back about 18 years in order to get this amount of raise.

    • Benett Kessler March 21, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

      Each Council person now makes $3600 per year. With the $735 per month amount, each Council person will make $8820 per year. The law, according to their Town Attorney, does allow a 5% pay raise per year. The Council never took that 5% in the past 29 years. Add that amount to the $300 and you get $735. I do not know where the 245% comes from.

      • Curious March 24, 2014 at 11:52 am #

        With the raise and medical benefits for them and family how much is the compensation package per month for a couple of meetings?

        More tax money going to millionaires by votes of three millionaires!

        “The wealthy business owners are pissing on us and the towns media tells us it’s raining”.

        • Benett Kessler March 24, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

          The Town Manager said the average health insurance benefit is $17,000 per year per council member. Now, the monthly pay is $735.

          • Curious March 24, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

            Does the average town taxpayer have the ability to vote themselves a TBID TAX or earn a generous taxpayer funded compensation package by a majority vote of three plutocrats?

            Why do we pay for their and family medical coverage of the wealthiest among us for part time work?

            These same people who renegotiated total compensation down for most town employees, why didn’t they lower their own?

            A cost of $25,820 a year per council member for two scheduled meetings a month?

            There is no story here taxpayers, the Mammoth marketing con continues to raid the treasury with the aid of these charlatans.

        • skiJohn March 24, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

          Cleland Hoff just said in the press she threw up in her mouth a little bit (paraphrasing here) after she read the schedule the council members have, with multiple meetings, commissions, volunteering and a host of other time wasters. She was shocked over the amount of time it takes to be on council. $735 a month doesn’t even cut it in my opinion.

          • Curious March 24, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

            More con John?

            Closer to $2100 a month per council member a month total cost to the taxpayers.

            Where is bureaucrat beat now?

          • Curious 2 March 24, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

            What is the total pay and benefit package for a Mono County Supervisor who attends three meetings a month rather than two meetings a month that a councilperson attends?

          • Benett Kessler March 25, 2014 at 8:06 am #

            I’ll check, but it’s at least $5,000 per month plus health benefits.

          • Curious 2 March 25, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

            It sounds like a county supervisor would get about $75,000.00 to $80,000 a year with salary and benefits.

            It’s good to be the boss!

  8. Curious March 21, 2014 at 6:32 am #

    They could of put their money where their mouth is and voted for the new elected members of town council in 2016 to receive the raise .

    Oink,Oink, every time I see one of these swines around town.

    Anyone who knows the core values of these characters, also knows their tighter than a frogs sphincter !


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