The City of Oakland is facing its largest budget deficit in history. The $360 million shortfall is forcing restructuring and cuts to some public safety programs. And yet, the city’s Human Resources Department has recommended a $75,000 pay bump for Mayor Sheng Thao.
Last Tuesday, that plan got the thumbs up from the City Council’s finance and management committee. It will go before the full council for a vote on July 18.
The HR department noted that Mayor Thao earns less than city managers in all six California cities with similar populations. But she’s also not a city manager, which is typically a higher-paying position. Councilmember Janani Ramachandran called the comparison "apples to grapes.”
It’s been a decade since the council raised the mayor’s salary. Ramachandran agrees Thao should get an increase, but she thinks it should be less than $75,000. Ramachandran was the only member to oppose the pay bump. It ultimately passed the committee 3-1.