City Councilors Could Receive More than a Stipend

February 12, 2013

Voters in Colorado Springs will have the opportunity to decide whether their city councilors deserve an actual salary. As KRCC's Liz Ruskin reports, city council decided today to put the question on April's ballot.

When Tony Gioia looks at City Council, he sees nine individuals who can afford to spend 40 hours a week in a job that now pays a stipend of just over $6,000. The thirty-six year old University of Phoenix employee says that means young professionals like himself often can't consider running for a seat.

"We are working full time trying to support our families and make our way in the world. And to be able to represent our constituencies on Council, we need to continue paying our bills."

He was part of a group pressing for a ballot measure that would raise the pay to $48,000 to increase the pool of potential candidates. Council decided five to four to put the question on the ballot. Opponents say it should be part of broader changes. The measure would go into effect in 2015. Council also approved the list of candidates running for election. Four incumbents and twenty challengers are running for six seats. For KRCC news, I'm Liz Ruskin.