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  • Dylan Anderson

Steamboat Ballot Measure 2G – City Council pay raises, explained

The measure would increase the pay for a Steamboat Springs City Council member by about 68% to $20,000 per year.

Ballot measure 2G asks Steamboat Springs voters to increase the compensation of Steamboat Springs City Council members to a minimum of $20,000 per year, an increase from the current rate of about 68%.

Currently, council members are paid $11,870 in a yearly stipend, in addition to receiving some additional benefits offered to city employees. This amount increases each year by a measure of inflation, but has not been adjusted otherwise since 2001.

The city council president and president pro-tem each receive a slightly higher compensation of $15,810 and $13,850 per year, respectively. If 2G is approved by voters those would increase to $25,000 and $22,500 per year, an increase of 58% and 62% respectively.

In discussion around the ballot measure, council members said the role has become more demanding over the years, with member Heather Sloop estimating she is spending between 25 and 35 hours per week on her council duties.

The thought of some on Council is that if council compensation were higher, it would make it more realistic for working-class folks in Steamboat to serve on the city’s governing board.

“Community expectations have grown over the years and in order to keep up with those expectations it does require more time and more dedication to this role,” said Council Member Dakotah McGinlay, as the measure was discussed at Council in July. “Therefore, it is becoming harder and harder I think to find this role appetizing.”

Current pay for Steamboat Springs City Council sits above the annual compensation in peer communities, according to a city staff report. Of 25 communities, the average is just shy of $10,000 per year. The range goes from about $4,800 per year in Dillon to $20,400 per year in Snowmass. In the group of communities studied, Steamboat is on the larger end population-wise.

When being discussed, City Attorney Dan Foote estimated that Steamboat Springs City Council has one of the largest workloads of any municipality in the state other then Front Range communities like Denver and Broomfield.

If approved, the raise does not go into effect for all council members at the same time. Instead, it would go into effect for the four newly elected council members on Jan. 1. For the other three, they would only receive the raise upon being elected or reelected in 2025.

The city estimates that this would have an annual impact on the general fund of $64,000 per year, once it goes into effect for all council members.

Full Ballot Question:

Shall the compensation of City Council members provided for in Section 2-2 of the Revised Municipal Code be increased to an annual rate of $20,000 for City Council members, $22,500 for the City Council Pro Tem, and $25,000 for the City Council President, with said amounts to be paid on a monthly basis, and to be adjusted every January 1 beginning January 1, 2025, in accordance with the Denver-Boulder Consumer Price Index for the twelve-month period most recently computed, with the increase in compensation to take effect January 1, 2024, for Council members elected at the November 7, 2023 election, on January 1, 2026, for council members elected at the November 4, 2025 election, and immediately upon appointment for any Council member appointed to fill a vacant city council seat after January 1, 2024?


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