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Community Digest

Santa Fe Springs : Proposed $50 Pay Raise for City Council Draws Protest

September 16, 1993

Municipal workers in Santa Fe Springs are protesting the City Council's plan to raise its pay by $50 a month.

At a meeting last week, council members Betty Wilson, Al Sharp and Mayor Al Fuentes backed a proposal to raise their monthly pay by 10%, from $490 to $540.

Santa Fe Springs City Employees Assn. President Alex Rodriguez said he has asked the council to reconsider the raise, and he plans to protest when city officials make a final decision Sept. 23.

The association represents about 300 city employees, all of whom have gone without raises for two years.

"This is just a wrong time," Rodriguez said. "It just sends the wrong message to give themselves an increase."

The proposed increase would not be effective until after the next municipal election April 12.

At least one member of the council, Mercedes Diaz, said she opposes an increase in pay. Councilman Ronald S. Kernes was absent from the meeting. But those who did vote for the increase say it is justified.

"As far as I'm concerned, I've earned that money," Wilson said. "I spend as much time at City Hall as some of our employees who get 10 times as much as I do."

Susan Vance, assistant director of finance and administrative services, said the last increase the council got was April 20, 1992, when salaries rose from $444 to $490. State law allows council members to give themselves a 5% salary increase every year, she said.

In addition to the pay they receive as members of the City Council, Vance said council members also get $490 each month for serving as the city's Community Development Commission.

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