Members of the Oakley City Council are compensated monthly by the City, under provisions outlined in California Government Code Section 36516. Government Code Section 36516(a) specifies the amount of a councilmember’s compensation based upon the population of the City.
(a) A city council may enact an ordinance providing that each member of the city council shall receive a salary, the amount of which shall be determined by the following schedule:
(1) In cities up to and including 35,000 in population, up to and including three hundred dollars ($300) per month;
(2) In cities over 35,000 up to and including 50,000 in population, up to and including four hundred dollars ($400) per month;
(3) In cities over 50,000 up to and including 75,000 in population, up to and including five hundred dollars ($500) per month…..
On July 12, 1999 the City Council adopted Ordinance No, 12-99 that provided a compensation of $300 per month. The ordinance also allowed for a 5% increase in compensation per calendar year. This provision, for regular adjustments to the compensation, is set forth in Government Code Section 36516(c):
(c) Compensation of council members may be increased beyond the amount provided in this section by an ordinance or by an amendment to an ordinance but the amount of the increase may not exceed an amount equal to 5 percent for each calendar year from the operative date of the last adjustment of the salary in effect when the ordinance or amendment is enacted. No salary ordinance shall be enacted or amended which provides for automatic future increases in salary.
The compensation remained at $300 until November of 2006 when it was raised to $465.40 per month (a 5% increase for each year beginning in 1999). The Council adopted Ordinance No. 20-06 which set the compensation increase. However the change did not take effect until after the election in November of 2008.
Government Code Section 36516.5 requires that City Council compensation adjustments be adopted by the present City Council, to be effective for future City Councils. Section 36516.5 reads as follows: “A change in compensation does not apply to councilman during his term of office; however, the prohibition herein expressed shall not prevent the adjustment of the compensation of all members of a council serving staggered terms whenever one or more members of such council becomes eligible for a salary increase by virtue of his beginning a new term of office.” This proposed adjustment presents a reasonable manner in which to assure the fair and equitable compensation of Councilmembers of future City Councils.
Following the election in November of 2008 the compensation increase was automatic and started in the 2009 calendar year. During mid-year budget discussions in January of 2009 City staff presented the council with a number of cost cutting options. One of these included reducing or eliminating a budget item that the City has previously used to support local events. The Council agreed with staff’s recommendation, but suggested that the Council’s compensation increase for that year be redirected to Oakley’s first Relay for Life event to help ensure a successful event.