Fresno

Fresno lawmakers pitch eye-popping pay raise to match Fresno Co. Supervisors

A group of Fresno City Council members are pushing for a pay raise that would put them in line with the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. 

The proposal, which is backed by Councilmembers Tyler Maxwell, Mike Karbassi and Luis Chavez, would give each councilmember a 69 percent raise. 

However, the raises would only be implemented for councilmembers starting a new term, meaning the current group of councilmembers would not see their salaries increased immediately. 

Currently, each councilmember takes home an $80,000 salary. 

If the council opts to increase its own pay, the councilmembers would see their salaries bumped to $135,044, equal to what each member of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors takes home. 

Whoever holds the rotating position of Council President would have his or her pay upped to $151,925. 

The next mayor of Fresno – whether Mayor Jerry Dyer gets reelected or someone else takes office in 2025 – would also see a significant pay increase to equal 1.625 times of the council’s salary. 

Fresno currently pays the mayor $130,000. The resolution would raise the mayor’s salary to $219,447.  

While Dyer could see a major pay raise if he is reelected, he did not throw his support behind the proposal. 

“While I do not question the number of hours worked by councilmembers and the complexity of their job, I am concerned with the message this will send to our employees as well as our taxpayers,” Dyer said in a statement. 

“A 69 percent raise in one year is significant. A more reasonable approach would be to provide incremental pay increases over time that will allow elected officers to receive salaries comparable to cities similar to Fresno. An alternative approach would be to take it before voters as was done in San Diego in 2018.” 

Notably, only one of the proposal’s backers is guaranteed to benefit from the proposal if it passes: Chavez. 

Chavez won reelection in the June Primary and would see his salary increase when his new term begins at the start of the new year. 

Miguel Arias and Nelson Esparza both won reelection and will start their new terms in January. 

Incoming Councilwoman Annalisa Perea would join the group with the higher pay in January if the resolution passes. 

Maxwell and Karbassi could both benefit if they are reelected in 2024. 

Esmeralda Soria is termed out with Perea replacing her, and Garry Bredefeld will be termed out in 2024.

The resolution is on Thursday’s agenda for introduction.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.