Salary shuts people out

Monday, June 1, 2009

Perhaps the biggest impact of the current Council member salary of $13,998 is that it results in a system that is really not open to the entire public. It closes off the system to many potential participants, particularly our young people. Emerging leaders who have an interest in serving in city government are likely shut out due to the low salary, because it would difficult to support yourself on such a salary, much less a family. Because Council service takes up so much time, and has the schedule that it does, it isn't really feasible in most cases to work another job.

I am fortunate enough to own my own business, and thereby can set my own hours and devote a significant portion of my time to Council service. Most other Council members are retired or have a spouse earning enough money to support their families — people who can afford to work a full-time job while earning a part-time salary.

I am confident that if Council member salaries are included in the forthcoming employee compensation study, we will discover that our Council members' compensation is significantly lower than cities of comparable size and character. I encourage citizens to consider whether or not we want to continue to support a system that is, again, not open to the entire public — and as always, I welcome your comments, which you can send to me via email at


Anonymous said...

Mr. Johnson,

Your email address is incorrect in your last posting "Salary shuts people out" ... You have "" and it should be ""

Bill Norrish

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