Grants Pass residents take vote on city council stipend
Payment for city officials and a change in special meeting policies are a few of the changes that Measure 17-92 would make to the Grants Pass City Charter, if passed by the voters on Tuesday.
City attorney Mark Bartholomew said Grants Pass City Council members have never been paid for their service before. He said council members are tasked with a Monday study session, a council meeting twice a month, community liaison roles and the occasional special meeting.
"I believe they all do put a lot of time into it," Bartholomew said. "The Charter Review Committee said that offering some remuneration was key to recruiting and retaining city councilors, and perhaps attracting a broader pool of candidates beyond just retired people."
Currently, there are no city councilors in southern Oregon who receive such a stipend, so there are some residents that could be against the fee.
However, resident Mars Hintz said she believes it's a great use of public funds.
"It makes sense for them to get paid," Hintz said. "They're doing work. Everybody who does work wants to get paid. I understand the whole civil servant thing and how most normally don't, but I think it'd be a great step."
The Grants Pass City Council voted to approve a stipend of $1,000 for the mayor and city councilors in February. However, that amount could be adjusted each year based on the current Consumer Price Index.
"It sounds like bare minimum to me," Hintz said. "It wouldn't hurt my back at all. My taxes go to pay for war and all kinds of other things that I don't really believe in, so I'd much rather my taxes get used to support somebody who cares about the community."