After hiking property taxes for the third year in a row, Mayor Nutter and many City Council members are turning down an automatic raise they are eligible to receive. Six of the 17 Council members — Mark Squilla, Curtis Jones, Jr., Darrell Clarke, Bobby Henon, Jim Kenney and David Oh — are rejecting the pay bump or donating it, either to charity or, in the case of Clarke, to President Obama’s re-election campaign. Kenyatta Johnson, Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, Blondell Reynolds Brown and Bill Green have decided to take the raise.
Quinones-Sanchez pointed out that this is her only full-time job. So did Brown’s office. Some Council members have held outside jobs.
Councilwoman Cindy Bass has not decided whether to take the raise. The remaining Council members didn’t return our calls, including Bill Greenlee, who was on vacation.
A 2003 law provides an annual raise for elected officials based on inflation. This year, it is 2.8 percent. For most Council members, who earn about $120,000 annually, that works out to a $3,300 raise.City Controller Alan Butkovitz, Register of Wills Ron Donatucci and City Commissioners Stephanie Singer and Al Schmidt also turned down the raise.Singer says she couldn’t accept a raise if other city workers weren’t getting one. “I didn’t give my deputies a raise. And then I thought, and all the people who work at Spring Garden and at the warehouse and the other regular civil service employees, they’re not getting a raise,” said Singer. “And then I thought, you know what, it would be really nice to have a raise, but I can’t take this.” City Commissioner Anthony Clark and Sheriff Jewell Williams, who are also eligible for the raise, did not return our calls.