Wednesday, May 1, 2002

Legislature 2002

Bill would stop raises
for some city leaders

Police and fire chiefs and city
attorneys would keep their raise

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

Top city officials may not receive the pay increases recommended by the city Salary Commission, if seven Council members can agree to the same thing.

A resolution introduced by Councilman Jon Yoshimura calls for the Council to reject increases given to the mayor, managing director, Council members, and nearly all other department chiefs and their deputies.

Not affected would be the chiefs of the police and fire departments, their deputies, and deputy attorneys in the corporation counsel and prosecuting attorney offices.

Meanwhile, Council Budget Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi said she and Councilman John Henry Felix are co-introducing a similar bill that would stop the raises for the mayor, Council members and managing director only. The raises of all agency heads would be retained under that version.

The Salary Commission last week voted to give the mayor, Council members, and nearly all appointed department heads, their deputies and city attorneys pay increases of 3 percent. The exceptions were the police and fire chiefs and their deputies, whom the commission suggested should get 5 percent raises.

City ordinances say that seven of nine Council members are needed to reject part or all of a commission recommendation. The commission's whole package would cost taxpayers about $136,600 in the city's $1.02 billion operating budget.

The commission is recommending the mayor's annual salary to go to $115,360 from $112,000. City Council members' pay would rise to $44,651 from $43,350. The Council chairman would make $49,904, up from $48,450.

Mayor Jeremy Harris testified before the Salary Commission opposing increases. Harris spokeswoman Carol Costa said yesterday that the mayor backs Yoshimura's plan.

The commission gave 2 percent across-the-board increases last year, and 14 percent increases in the previous year.

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