Council member compensation

Monday, June 1, 2009

At the City Council meeting this past Thursday, I was disappointed when a citizen critcized the compensation which City Council members receive for their service.

Pensacola City Council members receive a salary of $13,998/year for what is for me a full-time job. I didn't run for City Council for the money, I ran because I had a desire to work to better my community. City Council has become my life. I wake up and go to sleep thinking about Council issues. Other than the various meeting I must attend, I spend a lot of time researching various issues, responding to constituents, and representing the City of Pensacola at various events. It is very much a full-time job.

In constrast, Escambia County Commissioners receive a yearly salary of $73,819, plus the use of an office and assistants, for performing many of the same duties for the county government. Escambia County School Board members receive a yearly salary for $35,938. ECUA Board members receive a yearly salary of $32,477.

Please see the below email from city resident and firefighter Larry Porto concerning the comments made at last Thursday's meeting:

From: Lawrence Porto
Sent: Sunday, May 31, 2009 11:49 AM
To: Al Coby; City Council
Subject: Benifits study

At Thursday nights Council meeting I was offended by the browbeating the Council had to endure from members of the Public concerning the compensation Council receives for the long hours of research, unending phone calls, tedious meetings and difficult decisions that go with your position. To accuse you of being over compensated is unfair and inaccurate, but I realize there are probably many others out there that hold that opinion.
I am in my 30th year with the Fire Department, and in that time I can remember only one pay increase for Council, and that was from 12 thousand to 14 thousand a year and happened several years ago. And compairing Councils compensation to that of the Escambia County Commissioners for virtually the same job is reveling. With the idea of dispelling that misguided Public opinion, I will ask Mary Ann Stalcup to include Councils compensation in the Benefit Study that was approved at Thursday's meeting. I am confident it will show Council is not over compensated.

Sincerly yours in Public service,
Larry Porto


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