Council Compensation Question

What is the Council compensation question?

The question asks voters if the compensation for Council Members should be increased 50% from $4,800 to $7,200 annually and if the compensation for Mayor should be increased 33% from $7,200 to $9,600.  Additionally, the question will ask if there should be regular increases every 4 years based on the consumer price index beginning in 2022.

Why did Council vote to place this question before the voters?

The amount of Council compensation is set by the City’s Charter, which means only by a vote of registered voters can that amount be changed.  The amount was last increased in 1997 and conversely the consumer price index, a rough estimate for cost of living, has increased approximately 50% over that same 20 year time frame.

What are some of the expected benefits of increasing compensation?

Increasing the pay will better reflect the increase in the cost of living since the last increase was in 1997.  Approving a minimal escalator tied to the consumer price index will allow the compensation to remain current without requiring future votes.    

When was the last pay increase?

The last annual salary raise of the members of City Council and the Mayor was approved by voters on the November 4, 1997 election.

How much is Council and the Mayor currently compensated?

Currently the annual salary for a Council Member is $4,800 and the annual salary of the Mayor is $7,200.

What is the change in consumer price index since the last increase?

In the last 20 years the consumer price index has increased approximately 50%.

Why would someone be opposed to the compensation increases?

The role of Council Member for the form of government that Alamosa has, Council-Manager, is often seen as volunteer position and compensation is normally set at a low level.  Some voters may feel that the current rate is appropriate for the amount of time required to serve as a Council Member.  Others may feel that the current rate is in-line with comparable communities and an increase is not needed.

What is the actual ballot language?

SHALL ARTICLE III, SECTION 6 OF THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF ALAMOSA BE AMENDED TO CHANGE THE COMPENSATION OF MEMBERS OF COUNCIL, WHICH WAS LAST SET IN 1997, FROM $4,800 PER YEAR TO $7,200 PER YEAR, AND OF  THE MAYOR, WHICH WAS LAST SET IN 1997, FROM $7,200 PER YEAR TO $9.600 PER YEAR, AND ADD A COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT SUCH THAT THE PORTION CONCERNING AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION READS:” THE ANNUAL SALARIES OF THE MEMBERS OF COUNCIL SHALL BE $7,200, AND THE ANNUAL SALARY OF THE MAYOR SHALL BE $9,600, ALL PAYABLE MONTHLY.  THE SALARIES SHALL BE ADJUSTED BY AN AMOUNT BASED UPON THE PERCENTAGE CHANGE OVER A FOUR YEAR PERIOD IN THE UNITED STATED BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS CONSUMER PRICE INDEX FOR DENVER-BOULDER-GREELEY, ALL ITEMS, ALL CONSUMERS, OR ITS SUCCESSOR INDEX, ROUNDED TO THE NEAREST LOWEST TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS.  THE FIRST ADJUSTMENT SHALL BE DONE IN THE FIRST FISCAL QUARTER OF 2022  AND THEN EVERY FOUR YEARS THEREAFTER.”

 

What does a “YES” vote do?

A “yes” vote will increase a Council Member’s annual salary from $4,800 to $7,200 and increase the Mayor’s annual salary from $7,200 to $9,600.  Additionally, the Charter will be amended to include a regular 4-year escalator that would be tied to the consumer price index.

What does a “NO” vote do?

If rejected by voters, Council and the Mayor will not receive a compensation increase and an escalator will not be put in place.