Garden Grove

Are councilmembers underpaid?

SHOULD GARDEN GROVE City Councilmembers be paid more? (Shutterstock).

Is a city councilmember from Huntington Beach or Newport Beach worth three times as much as one from Garden Grove?

A discussion on possible adjustment of the salaries paid to members of the city council is on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting of the council, as requested by Councilmembers George Brietigam (District 1) and Kim Nguyen (District 6).

Under California law, such salaries are based on population. Garden Grove, for instance, has a population of about 172,000, so the top limit is $800 a month.

Currently, city councilmembers are paid $486 monthly and the mayor $600. There is an additional $200 auto allowance.

Huntington Beach, with a population of about 200,000, is in the same category of cities with between 150,000 and 250,000 residents, but their councilmembers get $1,512 monthly and the mayor $2,121.

In Newport – with 85,000 in population – the council gets $1,491 base pay monthly; the mayor gets $2,116, according to data compiled by the Garden Grove city clerk’s office. That city falls into a category where the top limit would ordinarily be $500.

However, state law allows for an annual 5 percent increase and Garden Grove’s pay scale for elected officials hasn’t changed since 1988. Twenty-one Orange County cities with less population than Garden Grove pay their council members at a higher rate.

The meeting will be conducted telephonically at 6:30 p.m. Public attendance would be at the Community Meeting Center, 11300 Stanford Ave.


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