Glendale City Council pay raise, DVUSD funding on ballot Nov. 5

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The city of Glendale and Deer Valley Unified School district each have two items on the special election ballot for the Tuesday, Nov. 5 election.

Council pay

Glendale City Council is asking voters for a pay raise. Proposition 424, if approved by voters, the measure would increase the six council members’ pay by 55% and increase the mayor’s pay by 42%.

The measure would also create a system under which the mayor and council’s salaries are automatically adjusted each year based on the median salary of city employees.

Mayor Jerry Weiers is currently paid $48,000 per year. His pay would increase to $68,490 under the proposed change. Council members’ salaries would increase from $34,000 to $52,685 under the change.

The system is based on a proposal under which council members would make 1% less than the median salary of both full- and part-time city employees and the mayor would make 30% more than that median salary. The proposal was created by a Council Compensation Commission, a temporary five-resident group formed to review Council pay and approved to send to the ballot by a 4-0 Council vote in a meeting last month.

Read more here.

Primary date change

The other item the city has on the ballot is a procedural change to align the city’s primary election day with state law.

City code states the primary elections will be held in even numbered years on the Tuesday eight weeks before the general election. The Prop. 425 would change that language to in even numbered years “and on the dates as required by laws of this state.”

The state legislature changed the state-wide primary date from 10 weeks before the general election to the first Tuesday in August, which would be Aug. 4 in 2020. Prop. 425 not only conforms Glendale’s primary date to this change but automatically conforms it to the state-wide date should it change in the future.

Should the proposition fail, Glendale would hold its primary on Sept. 8, 2020, about a month later than nearly every other city and town in the state.

Arizona’s Presidential Preference Election will be held Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Only the presidential primary elections will be voted on on this date. Primaries for all other positions will be voted on in the primary in late summer.

DVUSD bond approval

DVUSD is asking voters for funding through two avenues. The first is authorization to issue up to $175,000 in bonds to fund building renovation and construction of new buildings, instructional resources, buses, furniture and technology, security and safety improvements, utilities and other improvements to school grounds through 2025.

The district states the total cost of the bonds will equate to a difference of about $13.28 a month in property taxes for the average assessed home in the district. However, it says the district has structured its funding of the bond to not increase the current tax rate.

The district states it needs the funding because the state has cut capital funding for the past 11 years, causing steep budget deficits for DVUSD schools.

For a full list of what each district school will receive from bond funding, visit dvusd.org/election .

DVUSD budget override

DVUSD is also asking voters to approve a continuation of its 15% maintenance and operation budget override to maintain the district’s current level of funding.

The voters last approved the 15% override in 2015. The override allows the district to spend 15% more than its Revenue Control Limit, a state formula that determines how much funding school districts can spend each year.

If voters do not approve the continuation of the override, the district’s funding will decrease starting in the 2021-22 school year. It would continue to cost homeowners in the district $1.08 per $100 in assessed property value in property taxes, or $19.23 a month property tax on the average assessed home value in the district.

If the continuation is not approved, DVUSD’s override will decrease to 10% in 2021-22, 5% in 2022-23 before dropping to 0% in 2023-24. The district would lose more than $9 million in funding with each decrease.

If the continuation is approved, the override will remain steady at 15% through the 2024-25 school year and decrease by 5% in each of the subsequent years — unless another extension is approved in the future.

DVUSD says it needs the override to continue to maintain class sizes, attract and retain high-quality teachers and to ensure the district can avoid cutting elective classes, programs and services that benefit the students.

Mark Carlisle can be reached at mcarlisle@newszap.com or found on Twitter @mwcarlisle.

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