Fremont City Council gives itself a raise; mayor-elect rejects her own pay

FREMONT CITY COUNCIL | Fremont councilmembers will now earn $2,118 a month in salary, after approving an increase last week. In addition, the City Council approved bumping up the mayor’s monthly pay to $3,764. But Mayor-elect Lily Mei said she might, instead, donate her salary to charity.

Past council had agreed to revisit the issue of pay on an annual basis based on Consumer Price Index, but had not in two years. Current councilmembers receive $1,970 a month, while the mayor earns $3,500.

The council unanimously approved the modest salary increases, but Mei, who just days before, was on the cusp of upsetting Mayor Bill Harrison in a close race, voiced unease over accepting the increase.

“I’m not comfortable voting myself a raise,” said Mei, whose campaign was focused on a pledge to rein in Fremont’s finances and wean it away from unfettered development.

Mei initially attempted to separate a vote on the mayor’s pay from the council’s increase. “I don’t feel comfortable to be in a situation where our employees and staff are taking cuts and we’re not,” said Mei in the event the city’s finances take a downturn.

She relented after City Attorney Harvey Levine noted each council members had the option later forego accepting a salary or donating its proceeds.

Otherwise, there was little push back from the rest of the council in opposition of increasing its own salary. In many small to mid-sized East Bay municipalities, the job of councilmember is viewed as a part-time job, although the time and effort often rivals a full-time occupation.

“This is a good tack to be on,” said Councilmember Suzanne Lee Chan. “We don’t do it for the money.” Chan, however, is termed out of office next month and will not receive any benefits from the increase.

4 thoughts on “Fremont City Council gives itself a raise; mayor-elect rejects her own pay

  1. By MW:

    Related to the above post of 6:00AM, an even much more important question is what are their fringe benefits and pension plan.

    In fact within the last few days I read an article about a Bay area firefighter who had retired at age fifty and received a pension of over 240K per year.

    And that type of thing is going to eventually cause our society to totally collapse.

    And as far as firefighters who are extreme alcoholics, and a huge percentage of them are, and especially among upper management (for more details, check out the SF Fire Dept), they should be getting paid no more than the minimum wage employees at a fast food joint, and with the majority of employees at a fast food joint also not receiving pensions and nor employer provided health plans, etc.


  2. By MW:

    In some of the smaller cities, in other words not such places as NY and LA, the positions of City Council and mayor are considered to be definitely very part-time, and are normally filled by people who have full-time outside jobs or who are retired.

    So since I do not live in Fremont, and therefore am far from an expert on Fremont politics, however as to get some insight on what might be reasonable pay for the above public servants, my first question is whether the position of Fremont mayor, and perhaps also Fremont city councilman, is a full-time position, an almost full-time position, or an extremely part-time position.


  3. A mayor with guts and conscience! Workers taking paycuts and city council is not and feeling bad about it. Everyone has a better mayor than Hayward does!


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