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

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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.

 

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