For anyone starting a Fresno City Council term after the new year, they’ll be getting a fatter paycheck. City Council approved the raise in a 5-2 vote Thursday morning, with very little opposition.
Right now, councilmembers make $65,000, while the council president makes $70,169.50. Since the raises only apply for terms beginning after Jan. 1, 2019, council members still completing a term won’t be affected.
Before the vote, councilman Paul Caprioglio lifted up a hefty binder to illustrate the amount of work City Council has on their plate. He was one of the five yes votes to increase councilmembers’ pay to $80,000. The council president’s pay will increase to $85,000.
Those increases are more than 21-percent and 23-percent, respectively.
Councilman Garry Bredefeld initially did not support the raise. Specifically because when it was drafted, the raise was based on Fresno County Supervisors’ pay — which he doesn’t think is fair for the public.
“When you tie it to a judge’s salary or supervisor’s salary — it’s a rigged game,” Bredefeld said. “You don’t ever have to take a vote, your salary goes up and that’s not the way the business of the public ought to be done.”
After that provision was removed, Bredefeld got on board. Along with the notion City Council hasn’t seen a raise in more than a decade.
“When you look at other cities it’s certainly reasonable for that salary. When a council pay raise hasn’t gone up in 12 years, you ought to take a look at that. It ought to be done out in the public like we did,” he said.
The two no votes came from councilmen Steve Brandau and Clint Olivier. One thing to note, the pay raise does not affect either of them.