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Friday, November 16 , 2018, 5:42 pm | Haze Smoke 62º


Public Engagement Commission Will Consider Salary-Increase Ballot Measure for Goleta City Council

Goleta City Council members make $7,060 a year, two of the last three elections were uncontested on the ballot, and city officials think the two issues are related.

As a 16-year-old general law city, not a charter city, Goleta’s City Council member salaries are set by state law, but they can be increased through a voter-approved ballot measure, according to Deputy City Manager Carmen Nichols.

The City Council this week referred the issue to the newly created Public Engagement Commission, asking the panel to bring back recommendations on a ballot measure including the salary amount, inflation and when the increase (if approved) should go into effect.

The PEC was created as part of the conditional settlement agreement between the city and the Goleta District Elections Committee, which threatened litigation regarding the California Voting Rights Act.

Goleta decided to move to district elections starting in 2022.

Increasing council salaries could allow more people to run for and serve on the City Council, and make elections competitive, council members commented during Tuesday’s meeting.

“I think some would be interested in serving and would be great at doing it, but can’t find the financial resources to reduce time at work or whatever, to find the time they would need to be able to serve,” Councilman Kyle Richards said.

Nichols’ presentation included council member salaries of other general law and charter cities throughout California, some of which base it on median household incomes.

The median household income for Santa Barbara County in 2017 was $53,950, she said.

Goleta’s City Council has five members who each serve four-year terms, with no term limits.

Voters approved the move to a directly elected mayor, with a two-year term, and it will appear on the November ballot for the first time.

The 2012 council race had two candidates on the ballot, and one write-in candidate, for two seats, while the 2014 race had three incumbents run unopposed for re-election: Mayor Paula Perotte, Councilman Roger Aceves and Councilman Michael Bennett.

Richards and Councilman Stuart Kasdin won seats in 2016 in a five-candidate race.

City General law or charter city Population Council annual salary Mayor salary 
Buellton General law 5,095 $3,720 $3,720
Carpinteria General law 13,864 $5,280 $5,280
Goleta General law 30,850 $7,020 $7,020
Guadalupe General law 7,321 $1,800 $1,800
Lompoc General law 43,712 $7,200 $9,600
Santa Barbara Charter 91,930 $41,384 $51,730
Santa Maria Charter 106,280 $15,756 $18,756
Solvang Charter 5,802 $7,200 $8,400

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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