Back in May I asked a question about attitudes regarding compensation for elected officials at the city level. I promised to write my conclusions in a followup and now I find that I never did that. My conclusion was that the issue deserved study in Lehi as the city grows so fast, that it should be done with lots of public input, and that the original request seemed very generous, especially for the mayor. Today I read in the Daily Herald:
Lehi officials are looking for public input on a proposal to increase their own salaries as much as several hundred dollars a month.
In May, Mayor Howard Johnson asked the council to triple his salary to a total of $51,000 a year, and to give themselves a raise too. At that time Council members instructed staff to form a committee of former council members to give a recommendation on salaries.
On Tuesday, Lehi city attorney Ken Rushton said the committee had met and had recommended raising Council salaries from $750 to $1,000 a month, and the mayor’s salary from $1,000 a month to $1,500.
In addition, the committee felt Council members should receive another $200 a month as a travel expense stipend, and the mayor an additional $500 per month.
So far I think the council has done a good job of addressing this issue. They have avoided any attempt to push for the large increases that the mayor suggested and in fact there is at least one council member who even believes that they should be reimbursed for travel rather than having stipends. (I would go one step further and have reimbursements with a cap – per trip and/or per month or year.) They have also done a good job so far of making the process open and inviting public input.