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NSL officials now among county’s highest paid
Sep 27, 2013 | 9883 views | 0 0 comments | 361 361 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Clipper Staff Writer

NORTH SALT LAKE — NSL Mayor Len Arave could be the second-highest paid mayor in Davis County, but he’s not sure he wants to be.

The North Salt Lake City Council recently voted to increase the monthly compensation for both the mayor and the city council, bringing the mayor’s annual compensation up to $1,600 a month and the city council’s up to $700. This makes Arave the second-highest paid mayor in Davis County, behind Layton mayor Steve Curtis, and makes the city council the third-highest-paid in the county.

Arave had been weighing whether or not to accept his personal compensation increase, but was surprised at hearing his potential new ranking.

“I probably won’t take it,” he said. “I don’t know that anybody really does this stuff for the money.”

In a letter addressed to the city council, North Salt Lake City Manager Barry Edwards said he used salaries from all over Utah to determine an average compensation amount for cities with between 15,000 and 27,000 residents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city’s estimated 2012 population was 16,700 residents.

On the top end of this scale is South Salt Lake, with a 2012 estimated population of approximately 24,300 and a full-time mayor that is paid approximately $81,000 a year according to South Salt Lake records ($6,791 a month). The city council is paid $946 a month. According to the letter, Edwards determined that the average monthly compensation for a city official in Utah was approximately $850 a month.

In Davis County, however, the range is much narrower. There are nine cities in the county with a population of more than 15,000, with Layton’s officials the highest paid from among that list. The city, which had a 2012 estimated population of approximately 68,600, pays the mayor about $1,800 a month and the city council about $1,100 a month.

Clearfield City Council members are the second-highest paid, receiving $740 a month. The Clearfield mayor is allotted $970 a month, but mayor Don Wood does not accept his monthly compensation. The city’s 2012 estimated population was approximately 30,300.  

North Salt Lake City Councilman Matt Jensen was surprised to hear that he and his fellow council members are now the third-highest paid in Davis County.

“That’s interesting,” he said. “We didn’t know the average that Davis County was making.”

Among south Davis cities with an estimated population of above 15,000, city council compensation amounts range from $425 (Centerville) to $650 (Bountiful). Bountiful’s estimated population is 42,500, and so was not included in Edwards’ original salary calculations.

Mayoral compensation ranges from $1,000 a month to $1,300 a month, with the same cities serving as the low and high benchmarks. Farmington Mayor Scott Harbertson, who is allotted $1,100 a month, also does not accept his compensation.

Edwards admitted that his staff didn’t look at the Davis County average when compiling their figures. He also admitted that his staff didn’t look at mayoral salaries in their research, and simply recommended giving the mayor the same $300 raise it was recommending for the city council.

He said that his assistants had called some Davis County cities to get numbers, but he seemed uncertain as to which cities.

“The issues North Salt Lake faces are a tad different than most of the other Davis County cities,” Edwards said. “We’re not a bedroom community, and sometimes we feel like we’re holding the line between Davis County and Salt Lake City.”

How much do elected officials make in Davis County cities?

Base compensation amounts for mayors and city council members in all Davis County cities with a population above 15,000. Population numbers according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.


1. Layton - 68,600

• $1,816 a month  

2. North Salt Lake - 16,700

• $1,600 a month  

3. Bountiful - 42,500

• $1,300 a month  

4. Farmington - 20,750

• $1,100 a month (not currently accepted)

5. Kaysville - 28,200

• $1,045 a month

6. Centerville - 16,200

• $1,000 a month  

7. Clearfield - 30,300

• $970 a month (not currently accepted)

8. Syracuse - 25,100

• $837 a month  

9. Clinton - 20,800

• $700 a month

City Council

Layton - 68,600

• $1,094 a month   

2. Clearfield - 30,300

• $740 a month

3. North Salt Lake - 16,700

• $700 a month

4. Bountiful - 42,500

• $650 a month

5. Farmington - 20,750

• $600 a month

6. Kaysville - 28,200

• $510 a month

7. Centerville - 16,200

• $425 a month  

8. Syracuse - 25,100

• $382.50 a month  

9. Clinton - 20,800

• $350 a month
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