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City charter revision committee may look at mayor, city council salary

City charter revision committee may look at mayor, city council living wages

SAN ANTONIO - District 6 Councilman Ray Lopez was one of six council members who responded to KSAT's inquiry about whether the city of San Antonio should take the issue of paying the mayor and council a living wage, to the voters.

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Newly appointed Mayor Ivy Taylor did not respond then, but has recently announced the issue may be on the table for the new charter revision committee she wants to form.

"I want to leave it to the commission to talk about what the possibilities are and then of course the full council will have full discussion on that as well," Taylor said.

In response to what she thinks about the issue, Taylor said, "I won't be able to benefit from it, but I think it certainly makes sense. We're the seventh-largest city in the nation. The business of the city is more than part time," Taylor said.

She and the council members agree; what is more important is what the voters think.

"I've talked to a lot of folks, especially in the business community who understand the amount of time and effort that council members have to put into this kind of work and find that also a lot of times average, everyday citizens aren't aware that there really is not a salary so I think there needs to be a little bit of education along with gathering feedback," Taylor said.

"Really what I think is most important is that it eliminates so many people who might want to serve from having the ability to serve," said District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales.

For those who are worried about where the money will come from, District 4 Councilman Rey Saldana said it would not increase taxes.

"It would be such a small amount to pay for such a huge payoff which is to open the door to anybody who would want to serve," Saldana said.

At $20 a meeting, the city of San Antonio doesn't come close to paying its council what other council members are being compensated in all the major Texas cities.

Austin:
$ 79,601 Mayor
$ 67,704 Council

Dallas:
$ 60,000 Mayor
$ 37,500 Council

Houston:
$ 209,138 Mayor
$ 55,770   Council
(The mayor of Houston is also the City's Chief Executive Officer)


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