LOGAN – The members of the Logan City Council are weighing the uncomfortable prospect of voting themselves a pay raise.
During the council’s regular meeting Tuesday, city human resources director Ambrie Darley recommended that the council approve Resolution 21-31, granting city elected officials a 3 percent pay increase.
Darley added that proposed pay increase for elected officials is in line with the city’s recommended 3 percent increase for all its employees in fiscal year 2021-2022.
The proposed increase would hike Mayor Holly Daines’ annual salary by about $3,000 from $99,468 to $102,452, with an unchanged $6,000 vehicles expense allowance. Council members’ annual compensation would increase by less than $500, from $15,606 to $16,074 with an unchanged $300 car allowance.
“It feels awkward doing this …” council member Amy Anderson observed. “But, across the state, the average salary for city council members is $17,000 or more, so we’re still under that state average.”
Darley agreed, noting that Logan’s compensation levels for elected officials fell behind similar Utah compensation rates during the period from 2008 to 2018, when the council members declined to approve pay raises for themselves.
Richard Anderson, the city’s finance director, also voiced support for approval of Resolution 21-31.
“We know that it’s uncomfortable to vote yourselves a pay raise,” Richard Anderson acknowledged. “But we need to increase the compensation for elected officials at least incrementally each year…
“We need good people to run for our elected posts, so we have to provide adequate compensation. We realize that none of you are fully compensated for your time and effort, but we need to provide salaries that are closer to being appropriate.”
City officials emphasize that all Logan City employees are overdue for a pay rise. In 2020, the council members voted themselves and Daines no pay increase for the next fiscal year. That decision was a demonstration of solidarity with city workers after Daines’ announced that city employees would receive no pay increases due to budget uncertainties resulting from the coronavirus outbreak.
“We went for years with nobody wanting to accept a pay raise,” said longtime council member Tom Jensen, referring to the decade from 2008 to 2018. “So I guess it’s about time.”
On Tuesday’s agenda, the pay increase was only a workshop item for discussion. A public hearing on Resolution 21-31 will be scheduled during the City Council’s next meeting on June 15.