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Manteca leaders may take 10 percent stipend cut
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Manteca’s leaders may officially cut their own pay by 10 percent on Tuesday.

Manteca Mayor Willie Weatherford has asked that the item be placed on the agenda during the 7 p.m. meeting at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

Such a move – starting on Aug. 1 – would whack $50 off the $500 monthly stipend of every council member for the remaining 11 months of the fiscal year for a savings of $2,750. The actual savings will be higher since Councilman John Harris several months ago without fanfare or public pronouncement started returning $150 a month of his stipend to the city’s general fund. That means if the council adopts the 10 percent cut and Harris continues his commitment, the overall savings in council stipends will reach $3,850 for the next 11 months.

The other four members of the council have all indicated they would be willing to take a cut in their stipends to mirror the actions of employee groups.

Municipal workers agreed to take a 3.8 percent pay reduction starting July 1 to help the city deal with the budget crisis. They are taking the pay cut through unpaid furlough days.

That move will save the city $1.2 million. The pay cut will be distributed throughout the fiscal year but most of the actual forced furlough days will occur during the holidays resulting in closing city hall for the week of Thanksgiving and the week after Christmas.

Essential employees such as police, firefighters, refuse workers, as well as sewer and water workers will have their unpaid furloughs spread out during the course of the year.
Council members receive no other monetary compensation besides the stipends. They do not receive mileage or reimbursement for other expenses. They tend to use the council stipends to cover expenses they incur as a council member including attending various community events where tickets are required.

Moorhead and Weatherford both take health insurance that is available to municipal employees. Weatherford’s arrangement, though, has part of his health insurance covered by a reduction in his Public Employment Retirement Service pension from his days serving as Manteca’s police chief before retiring.

Hernandez, Moorhead, and Weatherford access the municipal dental and health plans.

DeBrum and Harris do not avail themselves of either the health or the dental-vision plans.