Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik argues against Prop 413

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

“Prop 413 

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: 

Statement in the ballot for Proposition 413

And ARS 11-419 says this:

ARS 11-419

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.

7 thoughts on “Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik argues against Prop 413”

  1. Carolyn, thanks for posting additional information on Proposition 413. When I read the proposition I was a bit uncertain about ARS 11-419 and future increases. I wasn’t sure whether or not it’s a good idea to vote that in, so I’m glad Steve K. stepped up to explain it better.

    But keeping those salaries so low has really gotten out of hand. We’re getting close to a point where we may as well just ask for volunteers to run the city.

    I guess we’ll see what happens. It will be interesting.

    • Yes, we will certainly see next week Tuesday once the General Election results are in. Ironic that Steve K has expressed this opinion on a salary increase that he would profit from.

      • Yeah, it’s not what you’d expect but they all have to have other sources of income. Either that or they’re living under bridges.

        I wonder how the other council members feel about this.

        • We spoke to Ward 3 Councilman Kevin Dahl, and he’s already retired from Native Seeds Search so he said it won’t affect him much. Many of the other Councilmembers have full time jobs like Nikki Lee in Ward 4 and Paul Cunningham in Ward 2.

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