Ballot Question 2M – City council pay schedule

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Friday, Sept. 24, 2021

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Ballot language

Shall Section 7, “Compensation,” of the Boulder City Charter be amended pursuant to Ordinance No. 8477 to allow council members serving on January 1, 2022 and after to receive compensation for fifty-two meetings each year on the same schedule as other city employees or an a schedule prepared by the city manager?

What it means

Council is currently paid per meeting ($239.40), which is typically distributed every two weeks. But there are gaps in pay when there isn’t a meeting; council members sometimes report up to six weeks between paychecks.

This leads to odd situations in which council members owe the city money for health care deductions (council members receive benefits offered to other city employees) to maintain coverage — money that is then given back to council members through their next paycheck.

This ballot item would change it so that council members are paid on the same schedule as other city employees, reducing administrative burden and easing some headaches for council members trying to utilize health benefits.

Who is supporting

There is no formal support for this measure, which was brought forward by city council.

Who is opposing

There is no formal opposition to this measure.

Why you might want to vote for this

This would make it easier for staff and council because there will be uniformity. It also removes some administrative burdens for council members utilizing their benefits.

It does not increase council pay. 

Why you might not want to vote for this

While this does not increase council pay, it would unlink it from council attendance. 

Council members currently get paid only for the meetings they attend. However, attendance isn’t a huge issue; most council members have missed only a few meetings. Plus, they get paid so little, one can argue the pay isn’t much of an incentive to attend.

Mirabai Nagle – 11 absences

Sam Weaver – 4 

Junie Joseph – 2

Aaron Brockett – 1

Rachel Friend – 1

Bob Yates -1

Absences as of 11.19.19 through 10.26.21; does not include Joseph and Yates’ recusals on the CU South annexation

— Shay Castle, @shayshinecastle

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