ALPINE — The Alpine City Council is still undecided as to whether or not it will change the compensation for elected officials or keep it at the same rate it has had for years.

City Council members currently receive $4,800 annually, and the mayor gets $9,600. Alpine officials do not receive any benefits except for mileage and lodging reimbursements for occasional conferences as well as the mayor's cell phone.

While the council seems to be comfortable with its compensation sitting at the low end of other cities within Utah County, a few members of the council would like to see a little increase.

"The only thing that I am looking at is the current amount that we receive right now barely covers the cost of what our actual expenses are," said Councilman Tracy Wallace. "That is all we are looking at. Not getting paid a large amount for what we do but making sure we are covering the expenses that we have."

During this week's meeting, the council did not take any action on its compensation, but even if it decides to, it would not go into effect until January 2010.

"Several years ago we set up an ordinance that if there were changes to the council or mayor's salary, then we would not make those go into effect until the next municipal election," Mayor Hunt Willoughby said.

Many ideas were thrown around, including the possibility of allowing elected officials to buy into the city benefits plan, as opposed to giving full benefits to officials, which seemed to be unpopular among most of the council.

Another option would be developing a cost-of-living increase that would change as the cost of living increased.

"I think that is fair for us to tie (it to cost of living)," said Councilman Thomas Whitchurch. "In an effort to be transparent, it is better for us to do it on a fairly regular basis of us looking at salaries and determining them, but honestly I would like to see this happen while we do our budget discussions."

While no consensus was found, Willoughby asked the council members to express their feelings to him about the issue and they will discuss the issue at future meetings.

If Alpine chooses to increase the salaries, it will join neighboring Cedar Hills, which increased its compensation in July, and Lehi, which will make a decision about its salaries within the coming weeks. Pleasant Grove council members also discussed the issue in June but chose to revisit the issue next year.

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