Public servants, citizen legislators, or high paid city management, what do voters want? That is the question being asked for the fifth time since 1988 in Gresham Oregon.
Gresham, with an estimated population of 109,397 in 2013, is among dozens of cities that don’t pay elected leaders, according to the League of Oregon Cities. Instead, they get $160 a month — $1,920 a year — to cover expenses such as cell phones, gas and other local travel expenses, according to city officials.
Instead of proposing specific salaries, the ballot measure would authorize the city’s Finance Committee to choose a dollar amount that’s capped. The committee, comprised of seven residents, works with City Council to adopt a budget every year.
26-166 Citizen Control and Oversight of Compensation for the Gresham Mayor
Question: Shall the volunteer Gresham Finance Citizen Advisory Committee oversee and approve compensation for the Mayor of the City of Gresham?
Summary: Gresham’s Charter prohibits City Council from setting its own compensation; does not establish a method for citizen oversight and control of compensation. The 2011 Charter Review Committee recommended a special task force further research the issue of Council compensation.
The task force convened in 2015 and recommended a volunteer citizen advisory committee (the Finance Committee) provide oversight and control over, and establish and approve the compensation of the Mayor of the City of Gresham.
Any compensation approved by the volunteer Gresham Finance Committee would be used in the annual budget process. The budget process includes notice of public hearings before the Budget Committee and City Council.
If amended, the Gresham Revised Code would read:
GRC 2.40.025 Compensation Board (Mayor) The Gresham Finance Committee shall provide oversight and control over the Mayor’s compensation and shall annually prepare and approve a compensation schedule for the Mayor of the City of Gresham. The salary shall not exceed 45% of the compensation paid to the Chair of the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners.
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