3 term Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik, whose salary would be increased by Prop 413, argues against it in a recent AZ Daily Star guest opinion on Sunday October 29, 2023:
Also in his e-newsletter from 10/30/23 he states more info about Prop. 413, on the General Election ballot of Nov. 7, 2023: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/Government/Mayor-Council-and-City-Manager/City-Council-Wards/Ward-6/Ward-6-News/Ward-6-Newsletter?article=3786f9d
Proposition 413 is on the ballot that you’ve received in the mail. I cannot use city resources to lobby for or against ballot measures. But I can lay out the facts. Some of them have been lacking in the printed material that has gone out.
Currently the mayor is paid $42K annually, and city council members are paid $24K. Those amounts are set by the City Charter. Also set by Charter is the process for changing the salaries. Every 2 years the city manager appoints a 7-member citizen commission who studies the issue of M&C salaries and makes a recommendation for the voters to decide. The M&C do not have the authority to alter what the commission recommends.
This year the commission recommended that we do away with the Charter process of having a new recommended salary adjustment every 2 years and instead tie our pay to the pay received by the Board of Supervisors. Theirs is tied to a state statute (ARS 11-419) so the voters never weigh in on whether, when and by how much their salaries get adjusted. Currently Supervisors are paid $76,600 per year. If Proposition 413 is passed on December 4th of this year all council members would begin receiving that amount. Prop 413 says the mayor’s salary would be 1.25x what council members make, so on December 4th of this year if 413 passes the mayor will begin receiving $95,750 annually.
ARS 11-419 already has a built-in salary increase. Beginning on January 1st, 2025, Supervisors will see their pay increase to 96,600 per year. If 413 passes city council members would also receive that amount with the caveat that it wouldn’t start until December of ‘25. The mayor would receive 1.25x that amount, or $120,750 per year. The only way that would not happen is if the city manager appointed a commission in ‘25, that commission recommended that we decouple M&C salaries from the automatic statutory adjustments and keep us at $76K and $95K. Then the voters would have to approve that change. That’s unlikely.
Here’s the language from the ballot measure that ties what would be our new salaries to any statutory increases the supervisors receive:
And ARS 11-419 says this:
Being an educated voter is all about doing your homework. That’s difficult when the informational material you get doesn’t tell the full story about what you’re voting on. As Paul Harvey used to say, ‘now you know the rest of the story.’ I hope this helps in your decision-making.”
I posted a previous article about Prop 413: Read Prop 413 Would Give Huge Salary Increases to Tucson Mayor & Council Members now from Blog for Arizona for Politics from a Liberal Viewpoint
Haven’t heard from the other 5 Councilmembers, so readers if you have, please post in comments below. My husband and I live in Ward 6, so Steve K is our Councilman.
Vote wisely on or before November 7, 2023.