Glenwood City Council votes to increase compensation
The incoming new Glenwood Springs City Council members and those who will be returning to the council after the April 7 election will be getting more pay and a significant new benefit.
Council voted 5-2 at its Feb. 5 meeting to increase the compensation for council members by $500 per month above the current rate.
That will mean regular council members will be paid $1,000 per month, and the appointed mayor will get $1,200 per month.
The cost to taxpayers will be an extra $42,000 per year, bringing the total financial compensation for elected City Council members to $86,400.
In addition, council members will be offered a family membership for the Glenwood Springs Community Center and will have the option of signing onto the city’s employee health insurance, but at their own expense.
It’s the first adjustment in the compensation for City Council in more than a dozen years, and is seen as a way to entice more people to run for council seats in the future.
“My concern going forward is to try to incentivize young people in particular,” said Councilman Stephen Bershenyi, who pushed for council to consider a pay adjustment.
“This was an attempt on my part to help people be able to bridge that financial divide … and at least consider stepping forward,” he said.
Other council members agreed that, in addition to the pay increase, the community center membership is important as an incentive for council members to be out and about in a setting where they are visible to constituents.
“This hasn’t been done for 12 years, and it brings us up to par with some of our neighbors in the county,” Mayor Leo McKinney said.
Councilmen Matt Steckler and Mike Gamba took an opposing view to the pay increase, though.
Steckler pointed to the level of interest in the upcoming council election, in which there will be a contested race for two of the four seats that are up for election. That suggests there is an interest in serving, without the pay being a consideration, he said.
Gamba said he could support the community center membership as a benefit for council members, but thought the proposed pay increase was “going a little too far.”
“I do appreciate the motivation behind it,” he said.
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