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Mayor could increase his stipend

Mayors in the past five years have appointed themselves to at most two paying boards, versus the four Joe Carchio is now on.

January 05, 2011|By Britney Barnes, britney.barnes@latimes.com

Editor's note: Clarification: Mayor Joe Carchio appointed himself to 20 nonpaying positions as liason and he doesn't attend every meeting. All city committees are required to have a council liason.

Huntington Beach's mayor stands to expand his city stipend by about $4,000 to $17,000 after appointing himself to four paying board positions.

Mayor Joe Carchio appointed himself to the Orange County Sanitation District and West Orange County Water Board and re-appointed himself to the Orange County Vector Control District and the Public Cable Television Authority, according to public documents. The positions would add to the $22,615 stipend the mayor receives from the city.

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Carchio also appointed himself to 20 nonpaying city, community and citizens groups — nearly half of the positions offered within the city's borders — as a liason. He does not attend every meeting. All city committees are required to have a council liaison.

"I would be on the board if it paid or not — my main concern is that the city of Huntington Beach is well represented," Carchio said, adding later, "You don't do this job to make money."

Council members don't make an "awful lot" when gas, lunch and the time spent at the meetings is taken into account, Carchio said.

"People think you're making a lot of money, but you're not making a lot of money because you're spending so much time there," he said. "You don't get paid for all the extra time."

The appointments are the "mayor's prerogative," but council members tell the mayor which positions they would prefer, Carchio said.

The council members submit a list of how interested they are in representing the city on each board or commission, and the mayor makes the final decision about who serves where.

Some council members can't serve on as many boards because their work hours conflict with meeting times, Carchio said.

"If you see me on a lot of boards, it's because I have a lot of time," he said.

The appointment to the Orange County Sanitation District is generally rotated, with the mayor taking the position, Carchio said.

In the last five years, three mayors have put themselves on the board, including Cathy Green, Dave Sullivan and Keith Bohr.

The sanitation district pays board members $212.50 per meeting with a maximum of six meetings per month. The seat also reimburses for mileage to the Fountain Valley meetings.

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