Members of the Logan Municipal Council voted themselves and Mayor Holly Daines a nearly 11 percent pay hike at their regular meeting on Tuesday.

LOGAN – After some soul-searching and a little angst at their regular meeting Tuesday, the members of the Logan Municipal Council voted themselves a nearly 11 percent pay raise for the fiscal year starting July 1.

Unanimously.

That translated to a pay hike of more than $10,000 for Mayor Holly Daines and a pay increase of more than $1,500 for themselves.

Daines had previous said that she was going to donate her pay jump to a city project, so she made no comment during the council’s deliberations until council member Tom Jensen asked what the city’s staff was receiving.

Daines replied that the city’s staff are in line for a 4 percent across-the-board pay hike and another up to 4 percent in merit pay based on performance.

Jensen then confessed that he didn’t like the optics of voting on 11 percent hike when the average city employee was only receiving 8 percent.

Council member Amy Z. Anderson agreed that she’d be more comfortable voting on an 8 percent raise as well.

But Ambrie Darley, the city’s human resources director, said compensation for Logan elected officials lags behind that of other similar municipalities because the local council had refused to approve pay hikes for themselves for a decade after the nationwide economic collapse in 2008.

More often than not, council veteran Herm Olsen led the charge in denying those pay raises, so his appearance was a surprise during the public hearing on Resolution 22-19.

Olsen urged the council to approve the pay hike.

It’s well earned and justly deserved,” Olsen said. “Just do it.”

Council member Mark Anderson also argued in favor of the pay hike.

According to proposed Resolution 22-19, the mayor’s compensation would jump from $102,452 approved last June to $113,721, plus a $6,000 car allowance.

The same document set council members’ compensation at $17,842, plus a $300 car allowance, up from $16,074 approved last year.

Darley explained that, in the past year, she had taken part in a compensation study that the city of Ogden conducted for its mayor and council members. Participants in that market study included Logan, Murray, St. George, West Jordan and four other cities.

“The average salary for city council members was $22,300,” she explained. “So, with our salaries coming up to $17,842, we’re still below the average salaries for those cities.”

The average wage for mayors in those cities is $116,900, according to Darley. But those cities also have full-time city managers, while Logan relies heavily on the mayor to handle administrative duties.

The average salary for those city managers was $179,300.

“A lot of council members and mayors are motivated by public service rather than compensation,” Darley acknowledged. “But, down the road if we’re looking for qualified candidates, we do need to get these wages up in order to be attractive to people running for these positions.”

In the end, Mark Anderson made the motion to accept Resolution 22-19 and council member Ernesto López seconded it.

The pay raise for the mayor and council members will go into effect on July 1.



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