STOCKTON — As voters rushed to the polls, some in Stockton are focused on another big decision. City Council members voted Tuesday night to give themselves a pay raise.
“I’d prefer if it were someone else who made the final decision,” Councilman Dan Wright told FOX40 earlier on Tuesday. “But because of the way our charter was written, we make the decision.”
The salary-setting commission recommended a $10,000 pay raise to be voted on by the City Council.
It ups the salary for the part-time council member position, from roughly $16,000 to around $26,000.
Wright said he was voting in favor of the raise, hoping a pay increase will attract the best candidates to run.
“I just want us to have the most qualified council members and I think this is one of the ways you do it,” he told FOX40.
But Councilwoman Christina Fugazi disagrees, saying that money would be better spent elsewhere. She was the lone dissenting vote.
Council members took a pay cut back in 2015.
“It was great for political headlines,” political consultant Lee Neves said. “You were a councilman who was able to go back to the public and say, ‘I cut my own salary,’ but is that the right move, public policy-wise?”
This raise brings salaries $2,000 above their 2015 pay rates.