Members offer to repay excess
Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/25/2010 04:12:10 PM PDT

GRAND TERRACE – Pushing to distance themselves from recent scandals involving lavishly paid officials in other cities, members of the City Council recoiled when they discovered their stipends were higher than California law permits.

“Speaking for me – no one else – I don’t want to be classified as a council member of Bell,” Councilwoman Bea Cortes said at Tuesday’s council meeting. “I do not believe anything was intentional, but … speaking for myself, I intend to repay the thousands I’ve received” in excess of the state allowance since she was first elected in 2002.

Council members also serve as the Redevelopment Agency board, a duty that since 1978 pays $150 per month in addition to their $250 monthly stipend as council members.

The California Health and Safety Code caps redevelopment agency stipends at $30 per meeting, for a maximum of four meetings per month.

City staff discovered the discrepancy in June as they investigated Mayor Maryetta Ferre’s suggestion for a 10percent salary reduction.

The members of the Redevelopment Agency board meet about 30 times per year, meaning the pay for this aspect of their position should come to $900 annually, not the $1,800 they receive each year.

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