Salary conversations for Decorah elected officials

By Denise Lana,

At Decorah’s Aug. 7 Council Meeting, council members held the first reading of an ordinance that would set the compensation paid to the elected officials, the mayor and council members.

Currently, Decorah’s Mayor receives $400 per month, or $4,800 per year. The proposed ordinance would increase the yearly amount by $400, for a total of $5,200 per year.

Each of the seven council members are paid $50 per regular council meeting, and quarterly special council meetings. For a regular year, the total earned by a council member is estimated at $1,400 per year.

According to Travis Goedken, city manager, the proposed ordinance is simply attempting to better define the meetings for which council members would be paid. Only meetings requiring the whole council to attend would be eligible for the per meeting payment, regardless of the specific type of meeting.

This would not include payment for any work session held in conjunction with a council meeting, nor any committee meetings where only few of the council are required to attend.

Goedken said that when comparing Decorah’s rates to other Iowa municipalities, the salaries established by the city are very comparable. The last change made to the compensation ordinance took place in 2017, and prior to that change, compensation had remained the same since 1999.

In keeping with Iowa State law, any changes in compensation for elected officials like council members and the mayor cannot take effect until after the current year’s election. Any amendment to compensation will go into effect January 2024.

The second reading of this proposed ordinance will take place during the Aug. 21 regular Decorah City Council Meeting at 5:45 p.m. at City Hall.

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