Well, the Chula Vista City Council did it again — on July 23 they voted themselves a nice raise. The Chula Vista mayor gets paid 66% of a Superior Court Judge’s salary, and part-time council members get 40% of what the mayor makes. Every time the judges get a raise (which is often), then our city council votes to accept their raise, too.
As you probably saw in a recent U-T article, the Chula Vista City Council gets by far the highest salaries in San Diego County. What is wrong with this is that Chula Vista has a city manager form of government, which means the city manager does all the work and supervises the entire staff. In fact, the council members are prohibitied from influencing the staff without going through the city manager.
The only absolute requirement the council members have is to attend council meetings and vote on issues before them. They also represent the city on various county-wide groups, and for ceremonies, etc.
By contrast, the city of San Diego has a strong mayor form of government where the Mayor is both mayor and city manager supervising the entire work force. Currently, the mayor of San Diego gets paid less than the Chula Vista mayor (believe it or not), but they will finally be changing that in the future.
The problem is, the percentage for the mayor is too high. It needs to be lowered to something reasonable, particularly for a city which is basically just a bedroom community.
That, in turn, will automatically lower the salaries of the council members to something more reasonable.
Peter Watry resides in Chula Vista.