Richmond mayor, council to vote on giving themselves big pay raises

Richmond mayor, councilmembers to vote on giving themselves big raises
Photo by Kathy Chouteau

Richmond’s mayor and city councilmembers will vote Tuesday on whether to give themselves significant pay raises.

The City Council, currently dominated by members of one political group, the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA), is considering increasing the monthly salary for the mayor’s role from $3,875 per month to $6,975 per month. The proposal would increase City Councilmember monthly pay from $1,402 to $2,524.50. Both equate to increases of roughly 55 percent.

City staff are proposing the increase, stating the city’s elected officials haven’t gotten a raise since 2007. They noted the substantial increase in the cost of living in the Bay Area since then. The proposed salary adjustments are equivalent to an increase of 5 percent per year for 16 years, according to city staff.

By comparison, councilmembers in Antioch, a city with roughly the same population of Richmond’s at almost 116,000, receive $1,600 per month. In Vallejo, the monthly pay for councilmembers is $1,225 per month, while in Concord, a city of 125,000 residents, it is $1,352 per month. 

If approved, the mayor’s salary increase would be effective Jan. 1, 2024, retroactive to that date. The proposed adjustment for City Council salaries would take effect Jan. 1, 2025 after the Nov. 5, 2024 general election, since two councilmembers commence a new term on Jan. 1, 2025, according to city staff.