Impartial Analysis from City Attorney Yibin Shen
Measure E is an amendment to the Charter of the City of Alameda (City). If approved by the voters, it would authorize the City Council to revise the current salaries for the Mayor and Council members.
The City Charter is the City’s “constitution”. City voters adopted the Charter and City voters must approve any amendments to the Charter.
Currently, the Charter provides the monthly salary of the Mayor is $200, plus $50/month for each Council meeting the Mayor attends (up to two meetings per month), a total annual salary of no more than $3,600. The Charter provides the monthly salary for Councilmembers is $50/month for each Council meeting a Councilmember attends (up to two meetings per month), an annual salary of no more than $1,200. The voters approved a Charter amendment in 1970 establishing the Mayor’s current $200/month salary and approved a Charter amendment in 1977 further providing Councilmembers, including the Mayor, with the $50 salary for each Council meeting attended. The Charter also provides that the salaries of the Mayor and Councilmembers may not be increased during the term of office of the Mayor or Councilmember.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics collects and publishes data concerning employment and wages such as the salaries for numerous occupations.
The proposed Charter amendment would allow the City Council to revise the annual salaries of the Mayor and Councilmembers not to exceed 30% of the salary for “All Occupations, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, San Francisco- Oakland-Hayward Area.” At the time this Impartial Analysis is being written (July 2022), under that formula, the not to exceed annual salary for Mayor and Councilmembers would be approximately $25,977.
If the measure is passed, the City Council, at a future noticed public meeting could determine, using the “not to exceed” formula above, what its members’ (including the Mayor) actual salaries would be. Also, if the measure is passed, City Council could revise the salaries anytime thereafter at a noticed public meeting. However, any salary established pursuant to this Charter amendment could not go into effect before July 2023. The current salaries would remain in effect, until revised and effective consistent with this Charter amendment.
In addition to salaries, City Councilmembers, including the Mayor, also receive certain benefits, such as healthcare and a car allowance, that are the same as the benefits provided by the City to executive employees. Moreover, each Councilmember, including the Mayor, receives a technology allowance of $100 a month. The Charter further provides the Mayor with $50 a month for use in the discharge of their duties. Councilmembers, including the Mayor, may also receive compensation/reimbursements for their service on regional bodies directly from such bodies. This Charter amendment neither enhances nor decreases those benefits, allowances, compensation or reimbursements.
A YES vote approves the measure and approves the amendments to the City Charter.
A NO vote rejects the measure and disapproves the amendments to the City Charter.
Previous Coverage: Salary Increase for Council on November Ballot.