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San Bernardino City Council holds its first in-person council meeting in over a year due to the pandemic at Feldheym Library in San Bernardino on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
San Bernardino City Council holds its first in-person council meeting in over a year due to the pandemic at Feldheym Library in San Bernardino on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
UPDATED:

Those serving on the San Bernardino City Council will make $37,500 yearly beginning in December, a 167% increase from what they made annually the past four years.

The hike will go into effect when those elected to new terms this year are sworn into office. Also starting at that time is the new $50,000 salary for the mayor.

Council members currently earn $14,000 annually as part-time officials.

As far as what neighboring cities pay their part-time leaders, once effective, the new base salary for San Bernardino policymakers will trail only the $41,376 base salary Riverside pays its elected officials, according to a survey provided to the City Council.

Council members Theodore Sanchez, Sandra Ibarra, Fred Shorett, Ben Reynoso and Kimberly Calvin approved the pay increase Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Councilmen Juan Figueroa and Damon Alexander opposed.

“The work this council does is pretty extensive,” Sanchez, who proposed the $37,500 figure Wednesday evening, said ahead of the vote. “In many cases, it’s as much, if not more, than the mayor.”

While a city advisory commission recommended boosting council members’ salary to $21,000, Sanchez pitched raising his and his colleagues’ pay to 75% of that of the future mayor’s.

Prior to Wednesday, San Bernardino leaders put off raising their compensation as city negotiators worked to finalize agreements with employee bargaining groups.

Any new salary for elected officials had to be approved and affirmed by the City Council before the Nov. 8 election, otherwise it would not have become effective until 2024.

In addition to new salaries, council members in San Bernardino will receive employer health benefits contributions and annual cost of living adjustments equivalent to that offered by the city to management employees.

They also will receive an auto allowance of $725 per month.

It is unclear at the moment how the new salaries will impact future budgets.

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