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Midvale Journal

Midvale increases elected official salary to meet market average

Jan 21, 2020 10:52AM ● By Erin Dixon

Midvale salary increase001: Midvale City raises its pay for their elected officials to keep up with other cities pay. (Photo/pixabay)

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

The mayor’s salary was increased by $7,219.50/year.

Councilmember’s salary was increased by $1,016.00/year. 

This raise was passed in a budget amendment during a Midvale City Council meeting in December 2019. But each elected official will be paid as if the raise had happened in July. 

This same topic was discussed in September 2019 during a public meeting, and deliberated the previous May during the council’s budget retreat. The idea at the time put the council in an awkward position. If the raise was passed during election season in the fall, candidates might be accused of chasing money. If the raise was done after the new year, then new councilmembers might be accused of giving themselves a raise as soon as they took office. 

Public Information Officer Laura Magness said, “The City completed a market survey of employees and the City Council compensation to ensure we are paying a fair and competitive salary. The City Council decided to postpone their increase because they didn’t want the compensation increase to become an election issue.”

Before the raise, salaries for the part-time officials were well below the average pay for others in the same position in other cities. Midvale’s mayor is part-time, so he/she is paid half the yearly salary of full-time mayors. 

“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...,” Kane Loader, city manager, said in the September meeting. 

Midvale resident Sophia Hawes-Tingey was happy about the increase.

“My understanding is that the compensation was below average as compared to other elected officials in the area. That would certainly justify an increase in the amounts.… [A]s long as the compensation is weighed against comparable wages and the amount of time expected to fulfill the responsibilities of the office, as well as adjusting for inflation, then it makes sense. Anything over that would be questionable.”

All other city employees usually receive a small salary raise each year to keep up with market increases and cost of living. 

In September, Councilmember Dustin Gettel said, “I would argue that it’s not fair for us to make the same while everyone else gets 2%.”