Turlock could review council pay

The City Council on Tuesday could create a task force to review the $500 stipend each member receives per month.

A city staff report says the pay, which was set in 2000, might need to be increased to better reflect the time council members devote to meetings and other duties. Mayor John Lazar makes the same amount as the other four council members but has added duties.

“While it is considered a part-time job, there are periods of time when a great many hours must be committed to attending public meetings within the city and also to represent the city of Turlock at events and meetings held by other governmental agencies,” the report says.

It adds that higher pay could attract candidates who otherwise would not be able to take time away from their regular jobs.

Under the proposal, each council member would appoint a resident to the task force, which would research the issue. The council would make the final decision, but the change could not take effect during anyone’s current term.

Also Tuesday, the council will:

• Consider applying for $1.5 million in state money to cover 75 percent of the cost of a few water projects, revised from a previous proposal for $2.54 million. The work would include treatment of naturally occurring arsenic in two wells, drilling of six wells to provide nonpotable water for landscape irrigation, replacement of turf with drought-tolerant landscaping, and 11 automated irrigation controllers. The money would come from a water bond measure approved by state voters in 2006.

• Consider an agreement with Turlock Gospel Mission to have its clients volunteer for maintenance work at city parks and other sites. A staff report says this could help them “gain job skills and help beautify their community.”

• Recognize the 75th anniversary of Foster Farms, which employs about 1,300 people in its Turlock turkey operation.