5-2 Introductory Vote Passes for Fresno Council Member Salary Increases

File Photo: City of Fresno

UPDATE: The resolution passed in an introductory vote Thursday, June 23, 2022 at Fresno City Hall. Fresno City Council voted 5-2 in favor of 69% pay raises tied to Fresno County Supervisor salaries. The proposal passes with Council Members Garry Bredefeld and Esmeralda Soria the sole no votes, while Mike Karbassi, Miguel Arias, Tyler Maxwell, Luis Chavez and Nelson Esparza all voted yes. Council will have to vote a second time at a future meeting. Unless Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer vetoes it, the ordinance starts in January.

FRESNO, CA (KMJ) – Fresno ‘s Mayor responded to a proposal by members of Fresno City Council to vote to raise salaries.

The last time Fresno City Council voted in a 23% raise was in 2018, and previously in 2006.

In 2018, KMJ reported that Councilmember Garry Bredefeld objected to tying future increases to 66% of those at Fresno County Board of supervisors – a change that was made before the vote took place. The item was approved 5-2 and salaries increased from $65,000 to $80,000.

File: Fresno City Council: FOX26

Under this latest proposal, new council member salaries would increase by 69% from $80,000 to $135,044.

The proposal is sponsored by councilmen Luis Chavez, Mike Karbassi and Tyler Maxwell, and would give raises when a councilmember starts a new term.

The plan would align City of Fresno council salaries with the salaries for Fresno County Supervisors, who currently make 60% of a Superior Court judge salary; $225,074.

A city council president’s salary would be consistent with that of the chairman of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors which is currently $151,925 and 12.5% more than supervisors.

FILE: Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer. Photo: Fox 26

Fresno’s Mayor has been reticent to increase pay in one fell swoop.

Mayor Jerry Dyer emailed a statement on Wednesday to media, sharing his thoughts on the proposal:

Earlier this morning, I read the “compensation of elected officers” proposal. As I understand it, if passed this would go into effect in January Therefore, it would not impact those in their current term- which includes me. While I do not question the number of hours worked by councilmembers and the complexity of their job, I am concerned with the message this will send to our employees as well as our taxpayers. A 69 percent raise in one year is significant. A more responsible approach would be to provide incremental pay increases over time that will allow elected officers to receive salaries comparable to cities similar to Fresno. An alternative approach would be to take it before voters as was done in San Diego in 2018.

The Fresno Mayor’s salary is $130,000, and under the proposal, the next mayor’s salary would increase to $219,447.

The city council will vote at Thursday’s meeting.

The final vote on the $1.7 billion dollar budget takes place June 30, 2022.