Mayor Walker receives raise from city council
Jun 15, 2018 11:57AM
By Justin Adams
Mayor Troy Walker is sworn in for his second term as Draper’s mayor. Walker accepted a council-led decision to increase his salary. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
By Justin Adams | [email protected]
Draper’s mayor Troy Walker just got a raise.
During the June 5 city council meeting, the Draper City Council voted to increase the mayor’s salary, barring final adoption of the city’s budget.
The current mayoral salary of $20,317 will be increased to $35,000. However, the council also voted to remove $6,000 worth of car and technology allowances allocated to the mayor (as well as a $1,200 technology allowance for city council members). When factoring that in, the raise comes out to $8,683.
The proposal to give Walker the raise came from Councilmember Mike Green, who said the mayor deserves a raise for all the work he puts in.
“While it is a part-time position, I know it takes up a lot of his time,” Green said during the city council meeting.
Councilmember Tasha Lowery agreed. “You are lucky to have him as your mayor,” she said, noting that council members often wake up in the morning to see the mayor had sent them a text about some issue facing the city in the middle of the night.
Walker is in his second term as Draper mayor, and previously served on the Draper City Council according to the Draper city website.
Green told the Draper Journal that this puts Draper’s mayor in line with similar sized cities and forms of government.
For most cities in the Salt Lake valley, a mayor’s compensation is determined both by the size of the city and by the mayor’s role within the city government. In a council-mayor form of government, the mayor is charged with the day-to-day operations of the city. To adapt a well-known saying, “With great responsibility, comes great compensation.” Some mayors in these forms of government bring in six-figure salaries.
On the other hand, there are council forms of government (such as Draper) in which the mayor serves part-time as the head of the city council and the day-to-day operations of the city are instead run by a city manager. These mayors normally make much less, ranging from about $15,000 to $35,000.
The City Journals reported on the intricacies of elected official compensation earlier this year following a controversy in which the mayor of a neighboring city gave themselves a $15,000 raise.
The Draper City Council’s move to give Walker the raise was met with little pushback.
Councilmember Alan Summerhays said that while he felt the mayor deserves a raise, the amount was “a pretty big chunk” that “disturbs him a little bit.”
One resident commented saying, “I have a hard time understanding the justification for a $14,000 raise for a part-time mayor.”
Prior to the city council’s vote, Walker said he wouldn’t be mad or upset if he didn’t get the raise. “But I won’t tell you that I won’t take more money. I’d be a dumb mayor if I did that,” he said.