Members of Colorado Springs City Council are paid barely over $6,000 a year, less than minimum wage for what they say is a full-time job. But as KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, a proposal to boost their pay met with resistance at today’s informal council meeting

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The proposed ballot measure would increase councilors’ pay to nearly $39,000 a year, or 40% of the mayor’s salary, starting in 2015. Backers include a coalition of young professionals and the Diversity Forum. Independent publisher John Weiss also supports the measure and spoke at the informal session.

“This council has to make a choice. Do we want to have only people of means or who have access to retirement accounts to be able to serve on this body, or should citizens of this community be able to have more choices?”

Council President Scott Hente says he’s opposed such proposals in the past because he didn’t want to look like a politician lining his pockets. But he ‘s leaving this year and says he’s ready to support it. Councilman Tim Leigh is opposed. He agrees the pay should be much higher, but says now’s not the time.

The council agreed to consider the measure at a meeting in late January. If approved, the question would go to the voters in April.

 

Comments are closed.

News

January 27, 2015 | NPR · The National Registry of Exonerations says 125 people were exonerated in 2014 after being falsely convicted of crimes. The number surpasses the previous record of 91, set in 2013.
 

Reuters/Landov
January 27, 2015 | NPR · Beef processors continue to block efforts to bring back Zilmax, a drug that makes cattle put on weight faster. Is it because they’re concerned about animal welfare, or beef exports?
 

Getty Images
January 27, 2015 | NPR · On Sunday, this Massachusetts teacher will be up close with her favorite team — as a cheerleader on the New England Patriots squad.
 

Arts & Life

January 27, 2015 | NPR · Esther Freud’s new novel Mr. Mac and Me traces an unlikely friendship between a lonely boy and a struggling artist. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says the book has both technical prowess and grace.
 

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
January 27, 2015 | NPR · Critic Kenneth Turan says Going Clear and The Hunting Ground are among the films that “blew people away” at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
 

January 26, 2015 | NPR · From flying like a bird to walking through a refugee camp in Syria, virtual reality has enabled journalists, filmmakers and artists to immerse their audience in their stories like never before.
 

Music

NPR
January 27, 2015 | NPR · With over 5,000 eligible submissions to our contest, we have a big task ahead of us: sifting through the overwhelming quantity and quality to find the musicians who will play the Tiny Desk.
 

Nonesuch
January 27, 2015 | NPR · In 1965, a happy accident with tape machines, and the words of a Pentecostal preacher, helped launch the celebrated composer’s career.
 

January 27, 2015 | NPR · Punch Brothers sing of distraction and isolation in the digital age on their new album The Phosphorescent Blues. While the group may look like a typical bluegrass band, the sound is all their own.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab