Despite voter rejection, Rio Rancho Council proposes pay hike for mayor

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – A proposal backed by three Rio Rancho city councilors would tie the mayor’s annual salary to the median household incomes in the city, leading to a sizable raise.

The ordinance, sponsored by city councilors Cheryl Everett, Marlene Feuer and Shelby Smith, comes in response to recent charter changes in the city that effectively make the position of mayor a full-time job.

“The voters have approved significant increases in the duties of the mayor but without increasing the mayor’s pay,” Everett said. “I think most working people would understand that it’s not fair to expect somebody to do a full time job at full-time hours for half-time or part-time pay.”

Right now, Rio Rancho Mayor Greggory D. Hull earns an annual salary of $30,402. Per the city charter, he is not allowed to have a separate job without council approval.

An attempt to raise that mayor’s salary earlier this year failed. A proposed charter amendment would’ve made the mayor’s pay per year equal to the mean household income in Rio Rancho, around $74,000.

But voters rejected that on a 2,956 to 2,616 vote.

“I think it was too big a jump in one step,” Everett said.

The revised proposal, which is not a charter amendment and doesn’t need voter approval, would tie the mayor’s salary to median household income, about $60,000 a year. City councilor pay would be set at 28 percent of median household income, around $17,000 currently.

None of those changes would kick in until 2018.

Rio Rancho City Council is set to take up the issue at its meeting Wednesday evening.

Santa Fe is set to pay its mayor $74,000 starting in 2018. Albuquerque’s next mayor will earn $125,000 a year.

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