Fast, cheap and on the payroll

Each council district and the mayor spends a fair chunk of change on a category of spending called “intern salary and parking.”

We all know what interns are. Here at SN&R, interns work for academic credit and for the glory of working in an exciting newsroom at a glamorous alternative weekly. Interns are poor, and they mostly ride their bikes to work. They get paid just enough, here and there, to supplement their beer money.

City council interns are a whole different animal.

According to the city’s finance director Leyne Milstein, each council district individually negotiates salaries with its interns. These aren’t necessarily students toiling in order to gain experience in their chosen field. More often, council interns are simply part-time employees, supplementing the council member’s regular staff. Rob Fong’s intern makes $13 an hour. And often, they are long-term employees. Ray Tretheway’s intern has been on the job for five years, longer than any other staff member in District 1 office. But because of their intern status, these folks don’t get the same pay scale, benefits or civil-service protections of regular employees.

They do, however, get a generous parking allowance. Some interns are given a spot in a city-owned parking lot, at a cost of $150 per month. Others simply get reimbursed for their day-to-day parking expenses. Milstein said she’s never seen an intern request reimbursement for a Regional Transit pass.

Intern salary/parking

Mayor Kevin Johnson
2009: $16,466/$6,040

District 1, Ray Tretheway
2008: $30,962/$2,330
2009: $ 17,400/$1,360

District 2, Sandy Sheedy
2008: $10,254/$1,100
2009: $3,945/$120

District 3, Steve Cohn
2008: $33,918/$4,370
2009: $20,011/$950

District 4, Rob Fong
2008: $16,176/$1,570
2009: $9,744/$0

District 5, Lauren Hammond
2008: $14,027/$20
2009: $11,740/$820

District 6, Kevin McCarty
2008: $17,417/$3,160
2009: $16,796/$365

District 7, Robbie Waters
2008: $4,486/$10
2009: $10,368/$220

District 8, Bonnie Pannell
2008: $4,320/$430
2009: $6,380/$0

Former Mayor Heather Fargo
2008: $11,547/$1,656