PLEASANT GROVE Pleasant Grove City Council members opted this week to postpone any decisions on whether they should be paid more for their work.
For 10 years now, elected officials in the city have had no changes to the amount of money they receive for their time and efforts spent on city business.
And after their decision in this week's council meeting, that will continue to be the case for at least one more year.
"There is no rhyme or reason. There isn't even a methodology in place as for how councils establish compensation for themselves and for the mayor," said Pleasant Grove Mayor Mike Daniels. "What I did discover is that for cities of our size, between 25,000 to 40,000 people, our council's compensation is below the midpoint."
While the members of the council acknowledged that their pay should be reviewed, none of them seemed to see the issue as something that was pressing.
"My line of thinking is that none of us are in this for the money because it is not enough money to go after. Therefore, any increase would be so small that why change it at all," Councilman Bruce Call said.
Members of the City Council are paid $7,200 a year. The mayor's compensation is $15,000. The mayor did suggest that at some point, the council's compensation should be brought to at least the average because of the growth in the city and the increased obligations members have.
Councilman Mark Atwood agreed that matching the average of cities of similar size was a fair balance.
"You have to compensate the council, a little, for their time," he said. "Now I don't want to decide to go way high or be way low either."
Finance officer Gary Clay said that looking at where the elected officials fit in among similar cities helps, but there are other benefits that can't be measured in the salary alone.
Pleasant Grove's elected officials have the opportunity to be a part of the benefits that all other full-time employees of the city may take part in. The officials are eligible for health insurance, life insurance and 401K options.
While the benefits Pleasant Grove offers are great, the city officials don't receive the travel reimbursements that other cities offer.
In a motion proposed during a meeting Tuesday, the council advised city staff to revisit the issue while working on next year's budget. Daniels, who acknowledged that his compensation was above the average of mayors in similar cities, still says that it costs him money to be the mayor.
He said he makes the point not as a sob story, but to note a trend that he sees in local and national government."One of the things I get concerned about in government is that we have come to a point where the only people who can afford to actually serve don't represent the majority of the people that are living, working and raising families," said Daniels. "So I get a little concerned about that."
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