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The City Journals

City council chair’s monthly salary increased

Jul 27, 2017 11:05AM ● By Travis Barton

South Salt Lake City Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance which sees the council chair receive an additional $300 a month. (City Journals)

To better recognize city councilmembers who serve as the council chair, the city council unanimously approved an ordinance for an additional monthly stipend of $300 be given to the council chair.

 “I do think it’s an above and beyond position,” Councilman Mark Kindred said during a June city council meeting. “This is a worthy thing to have for our current council chair and future ones as well.”

 The council chair position is voted on each calendar year by the city council with the chair expected to represent the city council and meet with the city administration and staff. The additional $300 is meant to compensate the chair for their extra work.

 Councilman Shane Siwik is the vice chair and said during a June city council meeting that he’s seen the further effort displayed from those in the position. He said this compensates them for “their time away from work and the extra meetings they do here at the city.”

 Currently, Councilman Ben Pender serves as the council chair and the monthly stipend will be retroactively applied to January 2017.

 Mayor Cherie Wood said Pender has attended four times as many meetings than any council chair she’s worked with previously.

 According to the city’s municipal code, councilmembers receive $946 monthly salary while working in their elected capacity. The new ordinance added language for a “pay differential of three hundred dollars ($300) per month.”

 The ordinance also states the city council can revisit the extra compensation if the chair no longer holds additional responsibilities.

 Initial talks regarding the ordinance saw discussion from the city council about the chair having certain expectations if they are receiving additional money.

 Councilwoman Sharla Beverly said she could support this because of the work Pender’s done this year. She added communication has been better than in years past when different council members felt left out of the communication loop.

 Councilmembers discussed the possibility of making changes to the council chair rules to include the communication standard.

 Pender said if you serve in the position, you owe it to the council to communicate and the administration to meet with them regardless of personality preferences.

 “Regardless if you agree or don’t agree with what city and staff want us to do or not to do, we still have to continue that open dialogue. That’s one thing I committed at the beginning to do and will continue to do,” he said.