Increasing City Council Pay

The news that our mayor asked city council to raise his pay and theirs got me thinking about this issue more closely than I’ve ever thought about it before. It makes sense that it would be a sensitive issue, but even in the private sector I’m a bit leery of giving someone the power to set their own level of compensation with money from other people. Congress is a good example of the abuse of this power as they have set a system of automatic pay increases (every year as I recall) unless they take action to prevent the pay increase.

I’m not accusing our city council of anything even remotely like that but I wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts or experience with this type of issue that might help shape my position. I’m trying to balance fair compensation with maintaining the integrity of the public service aspect of serving in city government as an elected officer. I’ll share my position after I firm it up a bit. I plan to be talking with Johnny Revill (a member of our city council) about the issue since he lives near me.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.

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6 Responses to Increasing City Council Pay

  1. Jesse Harris says:

    Compensation of part-time elected officials should be high enough so that middle-class candidates do not suffer financial hardship, but not so high that the position ends up being a financial windfall in and of itself. Besides, the business and personal contacts an elected official will make seem to usually have a significant long-term financial benefit to the elected.

  2. David says:


    Thanks for that input. It’s good to remember the non-monetary compensation and benefits that outlive the term of office that come with being elected.

  3. Reach Upward says:

    There are enough people in my town willing to serve for what basically amounts to covering expenses that it makes little sense to pay a lot more. People in my town tend to look at local positions more like volunteer positions than a job.

  4. David says:


    That attitude, that serving on the city council is more of a volunteer position than a source of income, is how I had viewed it growing up – which is the last time I had really thought about it until now. As I began thinking about it again I realized that there is a vast difference between council members for the city council of a place like Salt Lake and city council members of a city like Woods Cross where I grew up. How much differently do we have to view compensation as the job takes up significantly more time for those who are elected than the weekly meeting and a few ceremonial duties that were required in the town of my youth?

    Here in Lehi, with so much growth, it seems that we have to consider the council seats as being more demanding in the future than they were in the past.

    I’m glad to hear confirmation that my expectation from when I was young is not completely an attitude of the past.

  5. Reach Upward says:

    I guess that’s why it’s a good idea to leave it up to the localities to figure out what works best for them.

  6. Pingback: David Miller » Blog Archive » Followup on City Council Pay

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