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Tim Howard
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A PANEL OF RESIDENTS HAS BEEN COMMISSIONED BY THE VENICE CITY COUNCIL TO LOOK INTO HOW MUCH COUNCIL MEMBERS SHOULD BE PAID AND THEIR BENEFIT PACKAGE.  THE COUNCIL VOTED EARLIER THIS WEEK TO FORM A SEVEN-MEMBER CHARTER REVIEW BOARD TO GO OVER THE CITY’S CONSTITUTION WITH A FINE TOOTH COMB.  CURRENTLY, CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS DRAW A SALARY OF $10,000 A YEAR WITH THE MAYOR GETTING TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS MORE.  IN ADDITION, EVERYONE ON THE COUNCIL IS ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CITY’S HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN FOR ABOUT $10 A MONTH FOR THEMSELVES.  THE BOARD IS ALSO GOING TO LOOK AT THE POSSIBILITY OF REDUCING COUNCIL TO FIVE MEMBERS…THERE ARE CURRENTLY SEVEN…AND THEY MAY ALSO CREATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICTS.  RIGHT NOW EVERY COUNCIL MEMBER IS ELECTED AT LARGE.  THE CHARTER REVIEW BOARD WILL BE MADE UP BY EACH COUNCIL MEMBER APPOINTING A MEMBER, AND ANY PROPOSED CHANGES WOULD BE VOTED ON BY THE RESIDENTS OF THE CITY.