During their public hearing last Wednesday, the San Antonio Charter Review Commission stated unanimous support in proposing multiple amendments to the City Charter, including a massive pay raise for council members and the Mayor, automatic compensation increases year-to-year, and changing the terms from two years to four.
The original charter was adopted in 1953 and has been amended eight times since. Earlier this year, city council approved a charter amendment election for Saturday, May 9th. The charter commission has been meeting since to discuss amendments, and has produced the following propositions that are currently slated to go to city council for approval as ballot items.
One of the proposed amendments would dramatically change council member and mayoral compensation. Currently, council members are compensated $1,040 annually; the Mayor, $4,040. The proposed amendment would change those amounts to $45,722 and $61,725, respectively. Those amounts are based on the median family income for the City of San Antonio. All told, the compensation increase would cost the City of San Antonio an additional $504,505 annually, in the first year alone.
Should the aforementioned amendment be approved by voters, the commission separately proposed an automatic biennial increase of 2.5% or one tied to the Consumer Price Index, whichever is lower, to be approved by voters.
Also up for consideration is an alteration to the terms in office; to change the terms from two to four years. The term limit of eight years would remain under this proposal, but would change from four consecutive two-year terms to two four-year terms. Although this change is being considered, it is not one recommended by the Charter Review Commission.
The recommendations from the Charter Review Commission, as well as some from the public, will be brought before city council in February. Those approved by the council will be placed on the May ballot for voters to approve or reject.