SUNSET -- Unless other Sunset City Council members voice an opinion about sharing the stipends they receive for select special service district board appointments, Mayor Chad Bangerter said he will not allow the council to vote on the measure.
Sunset City Councilman Brent Andrews, at a Feb. 7 workshop, suggested the $7,450 the mayor and two councilmen collectively receive annually for three board appointments be split six ways, rather than its current three-way split, to be more fair and equitable to each elected official.
Sharing the wealth would put $1,241 yearly in the pockets of the mayor and five council members, eliminating the political infighting that takes place on the council when making the appointments.
But when Andrews called for a vote on his proposal at the workshop meeting, Bangerter told him a vote could not be taken because the issue was listed on the agenda as a discussion item and not an action item.
Andrews then asked that his proposal be posted to be heard at the Feb. 21 council meeting, which Bangerter also denied.
Bangerter said his rationale for not allowing the proposal to be voted on at a future meeting is that dividing the stipends to the council and mayor is against Utah code.
State code reads that the compensation special districts provide to board members is to be paid to the "member of the board, not to the entity supplying that board member," he said.
Currently, the $7,450 the city receives in paid board appointments from special service districts 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.
Each time the council discusses proposing an action that may require legal counsel, it costs the city about $1,000 to have the city attorney present at its meetings, Bangerter said.
"Part of the mayor's job is to protect the city from liability," Bangerter said.
And until the state Legislature makes a change to the law, he said, stipends are to be paid to the individual appointed to the board.
Bangerter said it appeared to him, based on the discussion at the Feb. 7 workshop, that the consensus of the council was to keep things as they were regarding its paid board appointments.
Should two council members object to the way the appointments or related stipends are being handled, Bangerter said, he would consider bringing the matter back to the council for an official vote.
Bangerter suspects the reason the stipends have become such an issue is a combination of "greed and the recession."
Dividing the stipends would take away the 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 council members receive $347.52 a month, plus an expense allowance, to attend their biweekly council meetings.
Bangerter receives $743.91 a month, plus an expense allowance.