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How much does your city council make?

August 15, 2010 | 11:49 am

City council members in Vernon, Compton and Inglewood receive significantly higher compensation than most of their counterparts in Los Angeles County, according to a Los Angeles Times review of salary figures.

Council members in the industrial city of Vernon, which has fewer than 100 residents, earn $68,052 a year. By contrast, council members in Arcadia, a suburb of about 56,000, earn a maximum of $6,720 a year.

The Times requested council compensation figures in the wake of the pay scandal in Bell, where three top city administrators stepped down after their outsized salaries were revealed. Four of the five members of the Bell City Council earned nearly $100,000 a year until they took pay cuts last month after a public outcry in the charter city.

In 2005, California passed a law limiting the pay of council members in general-law cities. The restrictions are based on population and range from $300 to $1,000 a month. Council members may vote to increase their salaries above those limits, but only by 5% a year.





Vernon council members work part-time and receive a monthly salary of $5,671, plus reimbursements for business expenses and healthcare benefits. The city also makes an annual contribution to council members' accounts in the California Public Employees' Retirement System.

Officials there defended the compensation, saying that council members deal with a unique set of issues because Vernon is a largely industrial city.

"They are the core leadership that oversees the city's important work," said Mark Whitworth, interim city administrator. "Are they worth their money? Absolutely."

In Inglewood, the mayor -- a full-time position that has been vacant since former Mayor Roosevelt Dorn pleaded guilty to a public corruption charge in January -- makes $111,300 a year. Council members are paid $61,884 a year.

In Compton, the part-time City Council members can receive up to $36,000 a year for their council and commission duties; part-time Mayor Eric Perrodin can earn $43,200. In addition, each council member gets a $650-a-month auto allowance.

Read the full story here.

-- Sam Allen and Abby Sewell

Photo: Until last month, four of the five Bell City Council members were making nearly $100,000 a year. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times