“For whatever that is worth,” said Bruce, an anti-tax activist who was convicted of tax evasion and other crimes last year.
But Bruce said he’s open to the idea of paying council members more than the $6,250 a year they get now.
Yes, you heard that right.
Bruce, who has clashed with council members in the past, thinks the council should get more money.
Bruce said he objected each time a proposal to increase council members’ salaries was brought to voters, primarily because Colorado Springs was paying a city manager under the old council-manager form of government.
But the switch to a council-mayor form of government “ostensibly” created some savings because the mayor is paid $96,000 and the city no longer has a city manager.
“Since we’re saving some money, I don’t have an objection to paying the council because there’s a savings in one area of administration or leadership and some of that can go to paying people who are undercompensated,” Bruce said.
“But, having said that, to sextuple their salary is absurd. I mean, that’s beyond audacious. It’s not even borderline greed. It’s wallowing in greed,” he said.
Bruce said he did some calculations and figures that council members should be spending about 20 hours a month in meetings “if they didn’t engage in these silly marathon spectacles about solicitation on the sidewalk and what do we do about homeless people and all these problems that they’re manufacturing.”
Council members have two informal and two formal council meetings each month, and they meet once a month as the Utilities Board.
Council members also serve on various boards, committees and commissions, but Bruce said that’s unnecessary.
“They don’t need to serve on all these boards and committees. They need to simplify city government. That’s why we have a mayor. The mayor is supposed to be the administrator,” he said.
Bruce also thinks council meetings need to be run more efficiently. He said council meetings should last no longer than four hours each.
“They have these meetings that are much longer than they need to be, plus of course they waste a lot of time on ceremonies,” he said. “They have these meetings and they have people twirling their batons or singing America the Beautiful.”
Bruce proposes paying council members $15,000 a year, or $62.50 an hour for 20 hours of meetings each month.
“That’s more than your average plumber or electrician or somebody that actually does something useful,” he said, adding that a 140 percent increase “would be enough.”