Pot of Gold

PROPOSITION R WAS APPROVED by Los Angeles voters to soften term limits for the Los Angeles City Council, whose members placed the measure on the ballot last year after a hurried and controversial vote. But the money pot the council created for itself via Prop. R went virtually unreported by the media:

. All current and former City Council members, if they win a third term (giving them 12 years on the council), will reap about $700,000 in additional salary. The council, already the highest-paid big-city council in the nation at a stunning $171,168 per year, receives a sizable raise each time California Superior Court judges get raises.

. A handful of City Council members — those who have not previously worked for government — will, during a third term, pass a 10-year employment threshold. Passing the 10-year mark qualifies them for lifelong health-care subsidies of about 50 percent already being reaped by the rest of the City Council, according to the city’s Personnel Department, amounting to about $1.25 million to $2.5 million per council member by age 82.

. Any council member who wins a third term — including any former council member, such as Richard Alarcón — will, based on a conservative estimate, reap $300,000 in additional pension, for a total pension of more than $1 million, according to city officials. Because of expected salary raises, which are likely to boost City Council pay past $200,000 in a few years, the pension pot will also grow.

. With a sizable fortune in extra pay and benefits awaiting them, many current and former City Council members are expected to begin eyeing another run for City Hall.

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