Sunset studies sharing stipends

Feb 7 2012 - 10:56pm

SUNSET -- Share the wealth.

That is the message Sunset City Councilman Brent Andrews wants to share -- in order to be fair to each of the city's elected leaders and eliminate the political in-fighting for coveted board appointments that pay additional money.

Andrews suggested that the $7,450 the city receives annually for three select board appointments be split six ways, rather than its current three-way split.

"It will take away that incentive to be on a board for the money," said Andrews, who doesn't hold and hasn't held any of the three board appointments in Davis County that pay elected city leaders above what they receive from the city for being on the council.

Sunset City Council members receive $347.52 a month, plus an expense allowance, to attend their biweekly council meetings, while Mayor Chad Bangerter receives $743.91 a month, plus an expense allowance.

Andrews requested the council discuss "the procedures of the payments of the special district boards" at its Feb. 7 meeting. There was to be no action taken on the item.

"I think it is based on the money. If we take away that money factor, we'll find out who is there to serve on the board and who is there to make the money," Andrews said.

Sharing appointment stipends would also put $1,241 into the pocket of Mayor Chad Bangerter and each of the five council members, Andrews said.

Currently, the $7,450 the city receives in paid board appointments is shared by Bangerter and Councilmen Ryan Furniss and Ricky Carlson.

Carlson receives $650 a year for attending the monthly Davis County Mosquito Abatement Board meetings, while Furniss is the city's representative on the North Davis Sewer District Board, which pays $4,800 a year.

Bangerter receives $2,000 a year for serving on the Wasatch Integrated Waste Management District Board, which oversees the waste incinerator and landfill in Layton.

Andrews' desire to discuss the paid board appointments comes on the heels of three council members -- Andrews being one of them -- voting at a Jan. 10 meeting to remove Bangerter from his appointment on the waste management board.

However, Bangerter retained his position on the board when the council, on Jan. 17, rescinded its action after receiving word from legal counsel that their action may be in violation of state code.

Bangerter said, based on his legislative research, Andrews' desire to share the appointment money with all elected-city leaders is not going to happen.

"Code clearly states (the payment) goes to the member of the board," he said.

And the appointments that are made, Bangerter said, are his appointments to make, and he is not going to "divvy" those responsibilities out.

Bangerter said Andrews' proposal to share the appointment payments is only about the money.

The reason Sunset City Council members are raising the question, Bangerter said, is that they have seen the Syracuse City Council attempt to override Syracuse Mayor Jamie Nagle on similar appointments.

The Syracuse council is still going back and forth on the subject of who should represent the city on the NDSD board.

Despite legal opinions advising Syracuse to keep its current representative on the sewer board, Councilman Douglas Peterson, the city's sewer board appointment, remains in limbo, officials said.

Nagle, who, like Bangerter, receives $2,000 a year to serve on the waste management board, committed what she receives from the waste management board to Syracuse city's recreation program.

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