Proposal to Change Process to Determine City Councilors’ Pay

Ordinance Introduced to Have Charter Commission Decide City Councilors Fee

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Duluth city councilors are currently paid a flat fee of $833 each month for their service as a member of the council.

But Monday night, one city councilor looked to change the way that fee is determined.

This is not an ordinance to change the city councilors’ pay.

It’s an ordinance to change the process in how their pay is determined.

Monday night, Councilor Sharla Gardner introduced a proposal to have the Charter Commission determine a suitable fee for city councilors.

As it is now, councilors would have to vote unanimously for any type of change in their fee, which Gardner says becomes an awkward subject matter and political game.

By proposing this change, Gardner hopes to make the matter neutral, and remove politics completely.

“The good thing about it being the Charter Commission, is the Charter Commission is not political. They are appointed by the district court, they are citizens that represent all political factions, all economic,” said Councilor Gardner.

She also hopes to make the process more thoughtful and deliberative with the Charter Commission looking at things like how well Duluth is doing economically, at how other similarly–sized cities pay their councilors, and making sure this fee is analyzed every couple of years.

This ordinance will be considered and voted on at the first council meeting in August.

Because it’s a charter change, it would require all nine votes of the council to change the method.


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