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Brentwood Planning Commission Approves Pay Raise

by CC News

On Tuesday, the Brentwood Planning Commission approved a stipend increase that will now be sent to the Brentwood City Council for final approval.

The item was requested by Chairperson Anita Roberts who asked the commission to approve sending the request to the city council where stipends would be increased from $200 per month to $400 per month. The item was approved in a 3-2 vote.

If approved by the Brentwood City Council at a future meeting, it would be the first increase for the planning commission since 2001.

On Tuesday, Roberts explained her request.

“I did my research and noted that the planning commissioners have the hardest job scrutinizing, as we did this evening, materials, some of it monogamous for the city of Brentwood. We do have the final say on what gets built in Brentwood once the council reviews and makes it approval and where” stated Roberts. “Amid a severe housing crisis, commissioners face a lot of angry people and we have a lot of work to do. A planning commissioners workload can sometimes exceed 40-50 hours a week or until the next meeting. Some of these packets have been more than 1,000 pages.”

She called a small stipend planning commissioners receive for their work was set at $100 every other week and was requesting $200 per meeting.

During public comments, Carolina Villaseca stated she supported this noting she has weighed through the agenda packets, but also the subcommittees they deal with—she also noted the size of the 1,500 page Bridel Gate project.

Commissioner David Sparling asked for clarification on if it was $200 per month or per meeting.

Roberts responded she was asking $200 per meeting whether it be 1 meeting in a month or 6 meetings as opposed to the $100 every other week whether they meet or don’t meet.

Sparling again asked for clarification.

City Attorney Brower clarified that currently the planning commission receives $200 per month and the request was to change it to $200 per meeting—meaning if the planning commission met twice in June, they would receive $400, not the $200 they currently receive. If they met three times, they would get $600. It would be per meeting vs. per month.

Commissioner Dirk Zeigler asked a clarifying question to see If Roberts was only including the planning commission meetings and not any sub-committees.

Zeigler stated what Roberts was actually asking for would result in a pay cut.

“Not that we are doing this for the money, but you will probably take a pay cut,” stated Zeigler. “What you are saying is per meeting and if you go back and look at the amount of meetings over the year, there are times when we are really busy and there are times when we have a lot of meetings. If you did the math, you will probably end up with a pay cut moving forward with this motion.”

He continued stating the math would be close.

Brentwood Planning Commision

Roberts defended her request saying even at the 50% meeting, they would be at the $200 marker.

“How I am looking at this, I know with the Housing Element, with Bridel Gate, couple of other big projects coming our way, and special meetings included in this ask, I am thinking, perhaps the terminology can be tweaked a bit, $200 every 2-weeks as opposed to $200 every meeting, we can have that discussion, the ask is that we increase the stipend $200,” explained Roberts.

Commissioner Rod Flohr asked what the goal was and what Roberts would like her check to look like each month.

Roberts stated her objective was to “increase $200 every two-weeks and the reason for that is much of what they are doing, the hours we are spending, the times we are in would suggest and justify that. I would love to have more, but to be fair, I looked around at other municipalities (Fremont), one of many municipalities who have taken on increases.”

She argued she spends quite a bit of time reading and speaking with staff urging the needle to be moved.

Brower stated its been $200 per month since 2001.

Roberts stated her request was then $400 per month.

Flohr suggested Roberts would get more support for a simple increase rather than a per meeting request.

Sparling stated he had mixed emotions on a raise given he signed up for the position knowing the workload and the pay.

“I understand the request but it is part of what I do to give back to the city,” stated Sparling.

Roberts then motioned for a stipend increase to $400 per month stipend that would be sent to the Brentwood City Council for approval. Flohr seconded.

The commission approved the request in a 3-2 vote with Sparling and Brand dissenting.

Notes — it is unclear when the raise would take place. If it would be immediate or upon the next planning commission being seated.

Stipends for other Planning Commissions

  • Antioch – $0
  • Concord – $50 per regular or special meetings for a maximum of six meetings per month. (More info)
  • Fremont – $200 per meeting
  • Martinez – $50 per meeting (more info)
  • Oakley – $0
  • Pleasant Hill – $500 per meeting (more info)

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