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Manhattan Beach Council debates pay change

The Manhattan Beach City Council debated whether to change its method of paying council members and increase their pay at its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, Oct. 2.

The subject was brought up by council member Marlene Yurek, who suggested at the council’s July meeting that she receive less pay as she attends fewer meetings than other council members. Yurek is gone part of the year and thought it might be better to pay the council members by the number of meetings they attend, rather than yearly.

Currently, council pay is $760 a year, which is paid at the end of each year.

The mayor is paid $1,000, also once a year, and the clerk-treasurer is paid $5,000, in monthly increments.

The ordinance proposed in October, Ordinance 09-12, suggested council members be paid $125 per meeting, the mayor $3,600 a year and the clerk-treasurer $7,500 a year.

At a public hearing at the beginning of the council meeting, citizens spoke out both in favor of and against the ordinance.

One comment made was that under the pay-by-meeting model, the mayor could raise council member pay simply by calling more meetings.

A motion to pass the ordinance was made by council member Yurek and seconded by council member Clyde Brodt. Mayor Paul Allen and council member Janis Allen were opposed.

Janis Allen said she agreed to a raise, but the proposed amount was too high.

The motion was rescinded, and no action was taken on Ordinance 09-12. Instead, ordinance 10-12 was drafted for the council to address at its Nov. 7 meeting.

Ordinance 10-12 said that council members’ pay would be $860 per year, the mayor would be paid $3,600 per year, and the clerk-treasurer $7,500 a year.

The council had a public hearing for Ordinance 10-12 on Nov. 7. City clerk-treasurer Barb Hanson-Wannebo said two citizens spoke at the hearing.

Ordinance 10-12 was not passed, but Hanson-Wannebo said the council plans to address it at its Dec. 4 monthly meeting.

In other business, the council:

• Chose to wait to stain the building until the spring.

• Hired LouAnn Maschler as planning and zoning administrator, as recommended by the city attorney. Maschler will work on an as-needed basis. The council agreed to $25 an hour and mileage one-way as pay.