MARSHALL — It’s something the city charter requires the Marshall City Council to talk about every July. However, even though the council discussed the mayor and council members’ pay on Tuesday, there are no changes in store for the salaries.
“There was an ordinance that was passed that actually covers the salary of mayor and council until the next regular election,” said Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes.
The ordinance, passed last year, set the mayor and council’s salaries for both 2023 and 2024. The mayor’s salary is set at about $11,000 for 2023, and $11,338 for 2024. Council member salaries are about $6,963 in 2023 and $7,172 in 2024.
“I think we’re right in the middle when it comes to comparing with other communities,” Marshall City Administrator Sharon Hanson said of the salary levels.
Any changes the city makes in mayor and council salaries can’t take effect until after the next municipal election, city staff said.
There wasn’t a lot of discussion of the salaries at Tuesday’s council meeting. However, Byrnes said he thought there were some factors to consider the next time mayor and council salaries are set in 2025.
“Over the past number of years when we’ve addressed this, we have looked at what the (pay) adjustment for our regular city staff has been for the previous years, and then used that percentage. That’s probably a good way to do that,” Byrnes said. However, he said, if the city continues to do that, the gap between the mayor and council salaries will increase over time. “So I think next time, we probably need to look at the council member salaries different than the mayor’s salary.”
Council member Steven Meister said he didn’t enjoy talking about setting mayor and council salaries, but it was still necessary.
“We hate to raise levy, and this is part of the levy. However, we want to attract good people into this position,” Meister said. Being on the city council takes a big time commitment, and without compensation that could be a barrier to council candidates, especially younger ones, he said. “I’ve calculated it out. This is less than minimum wage, with all the time we’re putting in,” he said.