City councilmembers to receive an increase to annual compensationSep 03, 2022 12:12PM ● By Cassie Goff
By Cassie Goff | [email protected]
Cottonwood Heights City councilmembers voted to give themselves a raise during their council meeting Aug. 2. Conversations about increasing the compensation for all elected and statutory officers for the city began earlier this year within budget discussions. The last time city councilmembers for Cottonwood Heights received an increase in their pay was 2013.
“Back in the budget process, there was discussion to look at market comparison across the whole city,” said City Manager Tim Tingey.
Over the past few months, Tingey and city staff members have been conducting a market study comparing compensation packages across the county for elected officials working on a part-time basis.
For Cottonwood Heights, the mayor and city councilmember positions are considered part-time. The compensation for each position is based on 10 hours per week. Being reminded of the part-time details, each of the city councilmembers laughed.
“We put in two to three times that,” said Councilmember Scott Bracken.
Tingey compared seven part-time mayor positions from different communities. The range of compensation for a part-time mayor position varied between $24,000 and $58,000; the average of which resulted as $42,000.
Twelve responsive cities throughout Salt Lake County were compared for city council positions. The range of compensation for councilmembers varied between $15,000 and $38,000; with the average being $22,700.
After the market study was completed, Tingey suggested compensation packages that would be based on the midpoint of the research but would be a little below average. The Cottonwood Heights City mayor would receive an annual salary of $40,000.The Cottonwood Heights City councilmembers will receive $22,500.
A public hearing was held considering amending the compensation schedule on July 19 and Aug. 2.
“I encourage the city council to give yourself a raise to support living here. It’s tough to live here with cost of living,” said resident Chanel Steward on July 19.
“There’s a clear conflict of interest that can’t be avoided,” said resident David Berry. “There is no input from anyone not getting compensation from the city. There needs to be some sort of process here that incorporates input from people who are not being compensated by the city.”
A vote considering Ordinance 386—Approving an Amended Compensation Schedule for the City’s Elected and Appointed Officers—was held Aug. 2. Councilmember Shawn Newell moved to approve the ordinance with Councilmember Doug Peterson seconding. Ordinance 386 was unanimously approved.
“I am supportive of this measure to get younger generations interested in serving,” said Councilmember Ellen Birrell. “This will hopefully cultivate younger people to be here on the council.”