The committee tasked with reviewing how much Richmond City Council representatives are paid has determined council members are due for a raise.
Just how much of a pay bump is in order, though, should be council’s decision, according to a letter sent on Monday from the committee’s chair, Matthew Stanley, to Council President Michelle Mosby.
The letter recommends advocating for a legislative solution during the upcoming General Assembly session. The state law that caps council salaries at $25,000 has not been revised since 1998. Taking inflation into account, that cap is equivalent to $36,865 in 2015 dollars.
The letter also stated that council’s salaries are comparable to other localities' salaries because those are subject to the same cap. Revising the city’s charter to allow council to set its own salary is also an option, the letter acknowledges.
The committee held seven meetings, including one solely for public comment. That meeting was attended by four people. Stanley says no more people turned out to comment in subsequent meetings. An email address set up to solicit feedback did not receive any messages, either, he says.
Council formed the committee in September after Mosby raised questions about salaries over the summer. After a meeting held Monday night, Mosby says she hadn't yet read the letter, but didn't have an ideal salary in mind when she proposed forming the committee. "I just wanted to get the ball rolling," she says.
The committee’s full report will be presented at the Nov. 9 informal council meeting at City Hall.