Ballot Measure to Adjust Menifee Mayor's Salary is Approved

The Menifee City Council has unanimously adopted a resolution that will ask voters to approve a salary adjustment for the position of mayor.

The argument in favor of Measure K, sponsored by the City Council, states that salaries of the four City Council district representatives was set at $6,000 per year when the city voted in 2010 to create electoral districts. A separate initiative set the mayor's salary at $8,000 per year. However, only the salaries of council district representatives were approved for a 5 percent per year raise from that point on.

As a result, council district representatives this year are making $7,800 per year. Unless Measure K is passed, the mayor's annual salary of $8,000 will fall behind in compensation at the next pay raise.

Unlike the other city council members, who are elected for four years, the mayor is an at-large position with a two-year term. Scott Mann's term is up in November and he is running for re-election.

By a 4-0 vote at its July 30 meeting -- council member Tom Fuhrman was absent while recovering from injury -- the council approved placing the measure on the Nov. 4 ballot. It would set the mayor's salary structure the same as other council members, plus providing a $100 per month adjustment -- guaranteeing a $1,200 annual difference between district-elected council members and the mayor.

"It's in our best interests to have an at-large mayor who has to run every two years," said District 3 representative Wallace Edgerton before the resolution was approved. "That gives the council some leverage. But not all the work we do is what you see behind the dais and especially for the mayor. I spend hours answering emails and attending meetings, and the mayor's position involves more than that. I will vote to approve this action and would approve a larger raise if I could."

The proposal was opposed by resident Anne Pica, who was the author of the resolution that originally created council districts and set the mayor's position as a two-year, at-large position. She argued that Mann pushed for this resolution only for personal gain and that it would "overthrow the vote of the people in 2010."

In response, Mann said he abstained the last time such an issue was voted on and that staff members brought this forth for council consideration in order to "create language that is consistent with the intentions of the original measure."

Council member John Denver pointed out to Pica and the audience that the resolution would affect the mayor's position and was not just intended for Mann.

"There's nothing on this proposal that has the name Scott Mann," Denver said. "This wouldn't even take effect during his current term."

The document arguing in favor of the measure stated that "the mayor is the only member of the city council who is elected by all the people of Menifee. That stature alone justifies higher compensation. California law recognizes that principle and allows the electorate to set any compensation it chooses for a directly elected mayor."

If approved by voters, the pay adjustment would go into effect in December, when the new council members are sworn in.




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