Dissension divides Millbrae council on salary

As election season approaches, the current batch of Millbrae City Council members look like they are unwilling to give their successors extra money because they cannot agree on how much.

The council voted 3-2 to deny themselves a 7.2 percent pay increase Tuesday, which would have raised their monthly pay from $345 to $370 for the city treasurer and council members starting their posts in December.

All council members said they wanted to raise salaries for their successors. Councilmember Robert Gottschalk wanted to increase pay by $165 monthly; Gina Papan did not want to approve an increase without a recommendation by an independent panel; and Vice Mayor Nadia Holober voted against the salary hike because the group could not reach a consensus on figures.

“We’re just getting our footing, financially speaking,” Papan said. “We have a reserve now that we’re very proud of. There are a lot of exciting things happening in Millbrae; we have to evaluate the city as a whole.”

They’ll need to approve a raise before the new council members come on board or wait for another two years.

“I don’t see it coming back this year,” said Mayor Marc Hershman. Other council members agreed.

Millbrae council members are at the low end of the pay scale compared with their San Mateo County counterparts and have not received a pay increase since 1999.

“It’s not very much money, but we don’t do this for the money,” Holober said.

Council members, who also receive full health benefits and a retirement plan for their work, said they typically spend 10 to 20 hours per week on their job.

“My concern is that if it doesn’t get increased, future council members just will get further and further behind,” Gottschalk said.

Attempts to raise salaries never reached the council agenda in 2001 and 2005. The council revisited the issue in July because it can raise pay only for future members, and three current members will be termed out soon, City Manager Ralph Jaeck said.

The $25 monthly increase would have been easily managed by the city’s budget, according to a report by city staff.

Members of the Pacifica and Redwood City councils make the most in the county. East Palo Alto and San Carlos council members make the least for cities with at least 20,000 people.

Some small communities in Southern California such as Rancho Mirage have also recently raised council salaries to $2,500 a month to help attract more qualified candidates.

mrosenberg@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocalPeninsula

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

An empty space where a Shared Spaces parklet once stood outside Aquitaine Wine Bistro on Church Street on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. The parklet was recently destroyed in a car crash. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Cars and parklets don’t mix: SF searches for solutions in wake of accidents

Andrew Fidelman got the call in the middle of the night from… Continue reading

Supervisor Dean Preston speaks about rent relief at a meeting of Faith in Action, a nonprofit serving low-income residents. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
How to apply for post-pandemic rent relief in San Francisco and California

Reyna Aguilar has amassed $20,000 in rent debt since losing her restaurant… Continue reading

Transit-only lanes on Mission Street have reduced travel times by 20 percent during the pandemic, transit officials say. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Pandemic experiments morph into long-term solutions for SF transit agency

The streets of San Francisco became real-time laboratories for The City’s public… Continue reading

NO CONNECTION TO SERVER:
Unable to connect to GPS server ‘blackpress.newsengin.com’
Debate reignites over San Francisco’s first public bank

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, momentum was building for San Francisco to… Continue reading

Owners of Levi’s Plaza on The Embarcadero say gas boilers on the property will be replaced by electric and solar sources in the next few years. (Shutterstock)
Big plans for clean power at Levi’s Plaza

Transition to net zero carbon in step with S.F.’s environmental goals

Most Read