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Councilman opposes raises for mayor, council members

SAN DIEGO _ City Councilman Carl DeMaio, who has crafted an image as a watchdog over San Diego’s finances, has gone on the offense against the recommendation to increase the salaries of the mayor and council members.

The city’s Salary Setting Commission made the recommendation on Feb. 1.

DeMaio voiced his objections in a Feb. 9 letter to Mark McMahon, president of the Salary Setting Commission, a copy of which was obtained by San Diego Gay & Lesbian News.

“Given the city’s current financial situation,” DeMaio wrote in the letter, “I simply cannot agree that a salary increase for the Mayor and City Council is warranted by July of 2011. While the ‘Findings’ in your letter outline some of the rationale behind the Commission’s recommendations, I would suggest that the dire ramifications of the city’s current struggle with unsustainable labor costs takes precedent over the issues the Commission raises.”

DeMaio accounted for the fringe benefits on top of the $75,000 annual salary and said that taxpayers would be footing the bill for a total compensation package of $135,912.

“Until the city’s financial problems have been resolved in a structural fashion, the city’s elected officials must continue to lead by example,” he wrote. “Maintaining current salary levels and reforming the current legislative pension package represents a terrific opportunity to do so.”

Click here to read DeMaio’s letter