Report: Highest paid city employees in Utah

Tuesday, May 8, many laws passed by the Utah Legislature went itno effect. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) — Of Utah's 50 largest cities, 29 have an employee who has a higher annual compensation than Gov. Gary Herbert.

Herbert's total pay, including wages and benefits, was $190,187.59 in 2017.

In 2017, the top three highest paid city employees in 2017 were:

  1. Provo City's Public Works Division Director: $318,530.98
  2. Salt Lake City's Chief of Police: $272,551.12
  3. West Valley City's City Manager: $259,277.56

The Provo employee's salary was substantially higher than in previous years because the employee received over $88,000 in "leave pay" during 2017.

“Employee compensation is generally one of the top items taxpayers fund each year," said Billy Hesterman, vice president of the Utah Taxpayers Association. "As cities are finalizing their upcoming budgets, taxpayers should review employee compensation items in their budgets and make certain they are comfortable with the level of pay the city is giving to its employees.”

The employees who tend to receive the highest pay at the city level are city attorneys, city managers and police chiefs, according to a report by the Utah Taxpayers Association.

In 35 of the 50 cities that the Association examined, the City Manager ranked in the top 3 highest paid city employees. The city manager, or city administrator, is usually the lead day-to-day oversight employee, who also reports to the city council and mayor.

"Elected officials for most of the cities receive relatively modest compensation," the report states, "with the exception of the mayors of Ogden and Tooele, who were compensated $197,961.33 and $135,113.28 respectively.

Data for the Association's report was taken from the Utah Public Finance. Figures were taken from the 2017 employee compensation tabs found on the website.

Utah cities with at least one employee paid more than the governor:

  • American Fork
  • Bountiful
  • Clearfield
  • Clinton
  • Cottonwood Heights
  • Draper
  • Farmington
  • Kaysville
  • Layton
  • Lehi
  • Logan
  • Midvale
  • Murray
  • North Salt Lake
  • Ogden
  • Orem
  • Provo
  • Riverton
  • Roy
  • Salt Lake City
  • Sandy
  • Saratoga Springs
  • South Jordan
  • South Salt Lake
  • Spanish Fork
  • Springville
  • St. George
  • West Jordan
  • West Valley City


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