ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The mayor and city councilors will get a raise. A group of five Albuquerque leaders recommended their salaries be increased Tuesday monring. The Citizens’ Independent Salary Commission of Albuquerque meet every other year to decide whether the mayor and city councilors should get a raise.
“We did an online survey of citizens, we had a public hearing, we studied data from other cities and we had extensive interviews with the mayor and councilors,” says chairman John Carey.
Carey says they cut no corners in analyzing the data. He says the group spent hours interviewing the mayor, the mayor’s chief administrative officer and eight of the nine city councilors to get a better idea of how they do their jobs and how much time they spend doing them.
Carey says they took into account how many hours they work a week, whether they’re evening or daytime hours and the kind of work they put in.
He says they found councilors work a little more than 30 hours a week – from committee meetings to grand openings and public hearings, even answering calls from constituents at 10 p.m. Carey says the mayor’s job, on the other hand, requires extensive travel, working all hours of the day and being on call 24-7. From there, he says they compared that workload with the workload of councilors and mayors in 12 other comparable cities in the southwest, including Santa Fe and Las Cruces.
“[The mayor] is somewhat below market, but not by a huge amount. And what we found with city councilors is they’re at the lower end of the spectrum,” explains Carey.
Carey says comparing job duties can be challenging. He says in some cities, councilors are part time and mayors have a more ceremonial role.
This is the third time the committee has reviewed salaries for these city leaders. In 2010, they recommended the City Council see a boost in pay – from $10,400 to $17,500. The council president gets an extra $2,000. Carey says there hadn’t been a meaningful raise for them in 40 years. He adds they didn’t find a significant pay increase for the mayor, just small, incremental raises through the years.
In 2012, the group recommended no change in salary for either positions.
Before the raise, the mayor’s salary was $109,325. It’s going up to $125,000. City councilors will see a raise of $12,500, from $17,500 to $30,000. The council president also saw a pay increase, from $19,500 to $32,000.
The raises only affect councilors elected in 2015 and the next mayor, elected in 2017.
A voter approved charter amendment created the Citizens’ Independent Salary Commission in 2009.