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See How Much More Your UES Council Members Make After the Pay Raise

By Shaye Weaver | February 17, 2016 4:04pm

UPPER EAST SIDE — City Council members Dan Garodnick and Ben Kallos will likely make more than the people they serve this year, thanks to a council-wide 32 percent pay raise.

Both councilmen voted in favor of the pay raise that was approved on Feb. 5, making their annual salary $148,000, effective immediately. 

For both officials, the increased earnings means they'll be making more than the median household income of their districts.

Kallos, who represents District 5 — covering East 54th Street to 100th Street, from the East River to Second Avenue, parts of Lexington Avenue, El Barrio along Park Avenue and Roosevelt Island — will make 1.52 times what his constituents make.

The district's median household income is $97,738.

Garodnick, who represents District 4 — spanning from Stuyvesant Town up to the west of Second Avenue and west of Lexington Avenue above East 79th Street — will make 1.34 times what his constituents make.

His district's median household income is $110,826.

The gap in earnings is wider in some other districts. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who will make $164,500 this year will make 7.36 times the median income of $22,359 in her district, which includes parts of East Harlem and the South Bronx.

Whoever takes over the now-vacant council seat in The Bronx's 17th District, will make 8.19 times more than the average constituent's $18,140 income.

Council members defended their raises, saying it's necessary considering they now work full time and won't be allowed to hold side jobs due to a ban beginning in 2018. They also noted that they regularly use their own money to help their constituents, a claim that's been debated in some districts.

"The only way to get my 50 colleagues to agree to give up outside income would be if the city was willing to compensate them," Kallos said. "This is an investment in a full-time legislature without the corrupting influence of outside income."

Even with the raise, Kallos said his market-rate apartment in the district would take up one-third of his income.

Garodnick did not immediately return a request for comment.

DNAinfo New York compiled a citywide map comparing each elected official's salary after the pay raise to the median income of the constituents they work for: