Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ogden City Elected Officials Seek a 10% Pay Hike, Whilst The Standard-Examiner Dissents

Sodden query to the Ogden City Council:"What's the matter? Are you suffering from a self-esteem problem?"

Here's an interesting Ogden City-centered Standard-Examiner story, which we've kept on the back-burner for a week or so, as we awaited further story developments. "Ogden City thinks it’s time for their elected officials to get a raise," SE news sleuth Mitch Shaw reported last Friday.
Specifically "[t]he city is proposing a 10 percent cost of living and merit increase for its mayor position and seven council seats. If instituted, the pay increases would go into effect January 2016, just after the November 2015 election where the mayor’s position and three council seats are up for grabs, according to Mr. Shaw's above-linked 10/31/12 report.

Cutting to the chase, "If the proposed 10 percent pay raises are approved, the mayor’s salary would increase to $119,742. The council chair would make $15,272, the vice chair would make $14,176, with remaining council members making $13,068"

Surely as the night follows the day, the Standard-Examiner editorial board yesterday followed up on this brewing story with yesterday's editorial, assuming the role of the tight-fisted Ogden City watchdog. "Ogden should not increase the salaries of its mayor and city council members by 10 percent. That is simply too high a raise in today’s economic environment," says the Standard-Examiner.
For those finicky readers among us, we provide the link to the Ogden City Council's October 28 packet, where the details of this salary-hike proposal are laid out in full.  It's an interesting read, demonstrating that city officials and staff have definitely done their homework:  
By way of background we ran through this whole rigmarole in 2010, the last time Ogden elected officials' salary increases were on the table, with our article series treating the subject:
Our take? As we unequivocally said in 2010, we believe "(Ogden) Council salaries... remain at rock bottom among all Utah cities which which are governed under the Utah mayor-council form."  In this respect, therefore, we differ with at least part of the SE's cautious assessment of this measure. Current Council salaries still remain "way" too low, in our opinion, and will still remain out of kilter, compared to Council salaries in other comparable Utah cities, even with the proposed new pay increases enacted in full. Thus once again, we'll ask our Ogden City Council, just as we did in 2010: "What's the matter?  Are you suffering from a self-esteem problem?"

As for Mayor Mike's current $108,856 salary (plus benefits), we think our Ogden City Mayor is doing just fine, compensation-wise.  And thus, and in that respect, we agree with the tight-fisted Standard-Examiner, in arguing that a 10% pay increase is WAY "too much, in this economy.".

So what are your own takes on this, O Gentle Ones?

The world-wide web eagerly awaits your ever-savvy comments.

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