Mayor Dana Williams pulls down a salary of just a little bit more than $23,467 annually from his City Hall position. Health benefits supplied by the municipal government add another $16,196.40 to his overall compensation, and he has the option of taking that sum in cash instead. He is provided with another $3,000 in a car allowance annually.
But Williams, entering his final months in office after having served nearly 12 years, said in an interview on Monday his successor should be paid much more than he has been during his tenure as Park City's top elected official.
Williams said the mayor of Park City deserves a salary in the range of between $65,000 and $70,000, roughly three times the amount he earns. His comments come as City Hall prepares to study the compensation packages provided to the mayor and the members of the Park City Council.
Williams and the City Council in November and December plan to consider whether the compensation should be increased. Doing so, the supporters say, would attract a wider range of Parkites to seek elected office. They say the compensation packages that are now offered could discourage some from mounting a City Council or mayoral campaign.
"I don't mean getting rich. I'm talking about should public service be open to working and middle class (Parkites)," Williams said, adding that the compensation makes elected office "exclusionary for most people."
The mayor's office offers an overall compensation package valued at approximately $42,663. Each member of the City Council earns $12,735.72 in salary and is eligible for the $16,196.40 in health benefits, which can be taken as cash. The salary is increased slightly in most years to account for upticks in the cost of living.
Williams said the City Councilors should each earn between $35,000 and $40,000, not including the health benefits.
Williams said his mayoral duties amount to a de facto full-time job, typically requiring between 35 and 40 hours each week.
"After 12 years, I've seen how difficult it is to serve and balance other jobs," he said.
Williams was a real estate agent in the years prior to the recession. He lost a high-ranking position as the downturn approached, with his firm indicating at the time that it would be difficult for Williams to serve as mayor as well as put in the effort needed at the office on a day-to-day basis.
The compensation received by Park City's elected officials has been a peripheral City Hall issue for years. It is sometimes discussed during an election year, particularly if there are few candidates. The topic has not been widely addressed during this year's politicking, though.
City Hall is preparing to seat a blue-ribbon commission to study the compensation of the elected officials. Prospective commission members must be registered voters inside the Park City limits. Applications are available on City Hall's website. They are due Nov. 1. Commission work is expected to last from Nov. 14 until Dec. 31 with the possibility of weekly meetings lasting up to three hours.
Application questions include someone's employment status, occupation, household income, length of time in Park City and whether someone rents or owns the place where they live. The questions also seek information about age, gender and ethnicity.
A three-person panel will review the applications and recommend names for inclusion on the commission, which is envisioned as a group of five people. A Brigham Young University public finance and management professor, Rex Facer, will chair the commission. Neither Facer nor the commission members will be paid for their service.
Matt Dias, the assistant Park City manager and one of the staffers who will work with the commission, said public comment will be sought. The commission will also study the compensation packages elected officials receive in other communities, Dias said.
More information is available on City Hall's website, www.parkcity.org . Select 'Blue Ribbon Commission' in the News section of the front page of the website and then the 'More' option, which leads to a page with a link to the application. The direct link to the application is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Blue_Ribbon_Commission_Application .
People interested in serving on the commission may also contact Dias for more information as well at 615-5180.