Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sun Valley proposes raises for city leaders

Express Staff Writer

The Sun Valley City Council held the first of three readings of a resolution that would raise the mayor and City Council members' annual salaries.

Currently, the mayor earns $18,000 a year and council members earn $12,000. The resolution would raise the salary to $30,000 for the mayor and $15,000 for council members, plus the estimated value of full health, dental and life benefits.

The resolution states that it "is important to the goals of encouraging candidates to seek office and once elected to fully serve without significant personal livelihood financial consequences."

The figure takes into account the estimated time commitment of the elected posts, the most recent U.S. Census area median income, the total cost of the health, dental and life benefit package, and the compensation of local elected officials in similar cities.

Currently, Jackson, Wyo., and Aspen, Colo., pay the most. The mayors of both towns earn about $30,000, and their council members earn $25,000 and $21,675 respectively. Jackson holds six meetings a month, Aspen holds four and Sun Valley holds two.

Sun Valley's proposed figures are based on a full-time job that earns a $60,000 annual salary and the estimate that the mayor is required to work about 1,040 hours per year and council members about 520.

If approved, changes to elected officials' compensation would take effect Jan. 1, 2008.

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