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Midvale Journal

Midvale council explores raising salaries of elected officials

Sep 30, 2019 02:17PM ● By Erin Dixon

Midvale City elected officials and staff members meet in an open meeting for workshops and dinner before regular city council meetings. (Erin Dixon/City Journals)

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

In a room to the side of council chambers, Midvale City Council meets to discuss workshop items. Topics discussed range from code enforcement issues to UTA updates. These meetings are open to the public, but are not part of the regular city council broadcast and are not available to watch online.

In August, the council discussed increasing the compensation of elected officials.

Kane Loader, city manager, reminded the council that during the budget retreat earlier that year, increases for elected officials was discussed but not yet implemented. 

“At the budget retreat...we did feel that city council was a little bit out of the market,” Loader said.

“The way we compensate the mayor is we look at the full-time mayors in the area, and we do an average of their salary, and we pay our mayor at one half of that because our mayor is part time,” Loader said. 

Councilmember Dustin Gettel was the first to speak on the matter. “I don’t care about the $1,000 extra. It’s not like anyone’s out here trying to make money. 

“I think what happened last time council raised it it was 2015 or so. If we did something, we should do it so that it’s reviewed more than once every four or five years. I would argue that it’s not fair for us to make the same while everyone else gets 2% [increase each year],” Gettel said. 

Councilmember Bryant Brown agreed that increases should be more frequent. “I would rather look at it yearly rather than look like we raise it 8, 10% every five, six or seven years.”

To set the elected official salary, Midvale looks at surrounding cities to set an average salary for their own elected official salaries. 

“We looked at Eagle Mountain, Murray, Provo, Salt Lake, Sandy, South Salt Lake, Taylorsville and West Jordan. Their average salary is $104,439 and we pay our mayor $45,000 so we’re about $7,000 a year out of the market according to our salary survey,” Loader said. 

Laura Magness, communications director for Midvale, said, “Because of the sensitivity of any elected official pay increase, it is frowned upon to have newly elected officials vote on a pay increase. Therefore, the council felt it would be best to vote on the issue before the new members are in office.”

Currently, the public hearing for this compensation increase will be Dec. 3, combined with a regular budget amendment hearing.