Officials reach $100K | ParkRecord.com

Officials reach $100K

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Seven top City Hall staffers could earn more than $100,000 each year under Park City Manager Tom Bakaly’s budget proposal, potentially increasing by six the number of people at the Marsac Building earning six figures.

Led by Bakaly, who would earn up to $130,700, they helm key City Hall departments and form the local government’s management team. Bakaly’s budget requests, if endorsed by the City Council, would give sizable raises to people like Police Chief Lloyd Evans, Public Works Director Jerry Gibbs and Scott Robertson, who directs City Hall’s information-technology section.

Mayor Dana Williams and the City Council on Thursday started their annual budget talks with a discussion about salaries, among other financial topics. There was little interest from regular Parkites and a hearing was not scheduled. The elected officials plan to take testimony during a series of upcoming hearings.

"We’re looking at departments that are comparable to larger cities. The pay scales have to reflect that," Williams said in an interview after the Thursday meeting.

He said Park City is a busier place and the government is a more complex operation than many communities of a similar size and the salaries reflect that. Williams said the people who earn the top salaries deserve six figures.

Williams also noted the local government must pay well to attract and keep staffers since the local housing market is tight.

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Under Bakaly’s budget request, the salaries of the top staffers would be set at:

( Between $110,00 and $130,700 for the city manager, a slight increase from the year before.

( Between $105,070 and $127,000 for City Attorney Mark Harrington, a more substantial increase.

( Between $93,526 and $112,200 for Evans and Gibbs, a more substantial increase.

( Between $82,260 and $104,040 for Tom Daley, the deputy city attorney, the same as he earns now, Finance Manager Lori Collett and Robertson.

The City Council would endorse the salaries when the budget is adopted, expected on June 21.

City Hall usually does not publicize the actual salaries the staffers are paid and instead provides a range for each position. It’s believed that the veteran staffers earn near the top of the range. Bakaly said it typically takes a person two years to reach the higher end if they are performing well.

Meanwhile, the budget anticipates another four staffers earning up to $96,757 annually, including City Engineer Eric DeHaan, and another set of people earning up to $89,142, including Pat Putt, the Planning director.

There was limited discussion on Thursday about the salaries but Gary Hill, who manages the budget for City Hall, told the elected officials the numbers are reasonable. He said the salaries are within the range of other communities City Hall researches when setting the numbers.

"We don’t pay staff, necessarily, above market. We try to be at market," Hill said.

Regular Parkites rarely question City Hall salaries and the numbers have not received consistent criticism, such as during city elections, otherwise.

Kim Leier, the city’s human resources manager, told Williams and the City Council City Hall staffers are more often living within the boundaries of the Park City School District, where they are eligible for a housing allowance.

City Councilwoman Candy Erickson mentioned, by being paid a little better, the staffers might choose to live locally.

City Hall brass and rank-and-file workers have long been encouraged to live locally but housing prices and rents in the city far outpace those in the outlying areas and the Salt Lake Valley, influencing many people who work for the local government to live elsewhere. The city, though, offers some housing assistance.

Park City measures its compensation levels against other communities, including some on the Wasatch Front and in Colorado.