Two mid-Peninsula city councils to get a raise

By the Daily Post staff

East Palo Alto and San Carlos city council members have voted to increase their pay, but neither council decided to give itself the largest raise possible under state law.

In San Carlos, council voted 3-2 on Oct. 15, with Mayor Bob Grassilli and Mark Olbert dissenting, to raise its pay 87% — from $300 a month to $560 a month.

Councilman Ron Collins suggested $560 because it is the average pay for councils in cities around San Carlos’s size in the county.

The council could have raised its pay by 145%, up to $735.

Olbert said at the council meeting that he voted against the raise because there are part-time employees at the city who are not offered the same benefits as the council members.

Grassilli said the council’s pay ought to be more than $300 but objected to the raise to $560.

In East Palo Alto, council members could have raised their salaries by 160% — from $300 a month to $780 a month. But they ended up on Tuesday (Oct. 16) raising their pay 100% — to $600 a month.

Councilman Carlos Romero initially suggested that the council raise its salary to $580, which was the median of council salaries in San Mateo County.

However, Councilman Larry Moody suggested the raise be $600, which is what was ultimately passed 4-0, with Mayor Ruben Abrica absent.

East Palo Alto’s council had not received a raise since 1986.

State law limits the pay of council members in cities that do not have a charter, such as East Palo Alto and San Carlos. The law authorizes a salary of between $300 and $1,000 a month, based on the city’s population.