SOUTH WEBER -- Mayor-elect Tammy Long and newly elected Councilwoman Marlene Poore have concerns about the $127,477 yearly compensation City Manager Rodger Worthen is receiving, and Long says she either wants Worthen's salary lowered or for him to resign.
Worthen, when contacted Friday by the Standard-Examiner, said the $127,447 compensation figure being publicly shared "sounds about right."
He said he receives $82,500 of that in salary, with the remaining amount coming in the way of health benefits, 401(k) and vehicle and phone expenses.
"It is a salary ($82,500) that is very comparable with other city managers throughout the western United States," he said.
But Poore, a former budget analyst for the Internal Revenue Service, disagrees.
There is disparity between what South Weber, a city of 6,500 residents, is paying Worthen compared with what surrounding cities of similar size are paying their city managers, Poore said, based on a two-month study she conducted.
It was that stated salary disparity both Long and Poore used in their campaigns to get elected Tuesday.
"I showed (Worthen's compensation figure) to people who were appalled by it," Poore said.
And now that she will be on the council beginning in January, Poore said she is hoping to have better access to staff salaries.
But the 11-year city resident remains uncertain how much cooperation she will be getting from the current council.
"We don't expect to get cooperation from the outgoing mayor and council members," Poore said, referring to herself and Long, who captured the mayor's seat on Tuesday.
Long and Poore are sisters.
Poore said she is concerned Worthen's salary was established by making comparisons to cities larger than South Weber. But what she found in making her own city-to-city comparisons is the salary compensation closest to what Worthen receives is the $121,000 Fruit Heights City Manager Brandon Green pulls in.
But Green also serves as Fruit Height's city recorder and as a member of its planning commission, Poore said. Fruit Heights' population is 5,100.
In other comparisons, Farr West pays one person $60,843 a year to perform both city manager and city recorder duties, and Hooper pays $50,334 to one part-time worker to perform city manager and city recorder duties.
Hooper has about 7,200 residents; Farr West has about 6,200.
"Different cities have different responsibilities for their city manager," said Worthen, who is currently in negotiations for another three-year employment agreement with the city.
But if that agreement is approved without the current council having contact with incoming council members, Long said she will consider having the city's legal counsel review it.
"I'm going to do everything I can to get (Worthen's) pay lowered or get him to resign," she said.
Worthen said he worries about Poore and Long making his salary an issue, but he realizes that is part of being a public official and the change in leadership that runs through every level of government as a result of the election cycle.
"Whatever the current council wants to do, they will do," Worthen said.
The negotiations currently taking place between city leaders and Worthen have nothing to do with getting a contract in place before the new council members come aboard, he said.
As before, when he was first hired by the city on Oct. 18, 2010, Worthen said, city leaders will base his new three-year agreement by comparing it with what surrounding cities are paying their city managers.
Poore took an interest in his salary, Worthen said, after he requested a salary comparison study be performed for other city staff out of concern they were being underpaid. "From that study is what generated all this interest from Marlene Poore," he said.
But Poore, he said, is not the first candidate he has seen who has run on a single issue and been elected.
Worthen said he has been through this type of scrutiny before. Before taking a job with South Weber, Worthen was the city manager for Syracuse.
Contact reporter Bryon Saxton at 801-625-4244 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BryonSaxton.