What You Might Not Realize About El Paso City Council’s Proposed Pay Raise
Tuesday is election day. There are a number of things on the ballot for you to consider. The Ted Cruz/Beto O'Rourke race for Texas Senator, a number of City Council representative seats are up for grabs, and the ballot initiative that will change the City's charter and the way salaries for City reps are set from here on out.
According to the current City charter, City reps can give themselves a pay raise up to 5% before having to go to voters for approval of that raise. Various City councils have asked for pay raises in the past almost 20 years, but only once have voters said yes.
If the the City of El Paso Charter Amendment Proposition A passes, you will no longer have a say about raises for City reps. They would be given raises based only on the median household income as established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. This is how the language of the amendment reads as you will see it when you vote:
“Should section 3.2 of the City Charter, relating to the salaries of the mayor and district representatives, be amended to provide that beginning September 1, 2019, the annual salary of the district representatives shall be set each year at the amount equal to the El Paso county area median household income as established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development or successor agency for the prior fiscal year, and the annual salary of the mayor shall be set each year at one and one-half that amount?”
What it means is taxpayers will no longer have any say in the salary for City reps. This is a bad idea. Yes, we need to pay City reps an attractive enough salary that we get good people running for office, but we as taxpayers should have a say whenever they want a big raise.
I'm going to be voting no to this amendment. I want to always have a say about City rep salaries. We don't have one with the County of El Paso, so keep your voice with the City.