A seat on the council can certainly act as a stepping stone for those with political aspirations, but it’s not meant to be a career in itself – and because of that, there’s simply no reason to include the council in a city salary survey.
Is anyone talking about that? We don’t really know. The city just agreed to pay $91,500 for an independent firm to conduct an analysis of 154 job positions within the city and determine whether those workers are paid fairly. However, despite the council voting to move forward with the study, city officials can’t say whether the mayor and council positions will be included.
This issue came up in December before the current council started its new term, and council members at the time voted against addressing their own pay before rank-and-file employees who have long needed salary adjustments. However, this survey is designed to take care of those employees, so it’s not a stretch to conclude that someone’s going to propose a council pay increase again.
Let’s just put a stop to that business now.
Those who say the council deserves a raise will point out that since 1995, council members have earned $650 per month, and the mayor has received $950 per month. According to city officials, comparisons to other towns Havasu’s size have shown council members and the mayor should be making well over $1,000 each month. Of course, that’s not really relevant since there’s no need to keep up with the Joneses when it comes to elected positions – there’s no danger of a Lake Havasu City councilman resigning his position here for a better-paying gig in Bullhead City, for instance.
On the other hand, City Council members past and present will tell you they spend much time attending meetings, speaking at community groups and otherwise donating their personal time to city issues. Some of them work enough for it to be considered a full-time job. Some of them use their own funds to pay for meals or other costs associated for representing the city. For those costs, council members and the mayor should be compensated, and we’d argue their current pay probably more than covers it.
City Council members don’t need a raise. Period. Serving on the City Council is an opportunity for Lake Havasu City residents to serve their neighbors and make Havasu a better place to live.
— Today’s News-Herald