Voters on Nov. 4 will decide whether to give their city commissioners a raise. But how much money is at stake depends what’s happening in other cities.
Currently, Parkland’s five-member commission members earn $2,400 a year. The referendum would allow the city to compute the average salaries of Coconut Creek, Margate and Deerfield Beach and deduct one percent to determine the Parkland salaries.
This means Parkland salaries will be an “average of what’s normal,” said City Attorney Andrew Maurodis. “This takes the onus off the commission to set their own salary, which is always an uncomfortable thing.”
If the referendum passes, commissioners and the mayor will get a significant pay raise. In Margate, for example, the mayor’s annual salary is $30,275; the vice mayor is $29,581, and commissioners are $29,164. In Deerfield Beach, the mayor earns $33,524 and the vice mayor and commissioners earn $27,979. In Coconut Creek, the mayor earns $31,179 and the vice mayor and commissioners each earn $28,870.
The other two referendum items approved by city commissioners Wednesday are:
• Term limits: Currently, each elected official is limited to two terms, or eight years. This amendment allows residents to gather a signature petition to allow that elected official to be able to run again. Ten percent of the city’s registered voters must sign the petition.
Currently, there are 16,615 registered voters citywide.
“It’s not easy to get the signatures, so this indicates there’s a desire by the residents to have this commissioner run again,” Maurodis said.
• Residency: Currently, a candidate for office must live in the district at least one year before qualifying for the election begins. But the qualifying dates change and it’s a “moving target,” Maurodis said. If passed, this amendment requires candidates to live in their district at least one year before an election.
City voters will also choose a mayor and two commissioners. The two commission seats are District 1, which includes Heron Bay, and District 2, which includes most communities west of University Drive with the exception of Heron Bay. The election is at-large, so the entire city votes for each commissioner. But the commissioner must live in the district he or she represents.
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