What you're paying for
In a recent Open Forum, the question was raised as to what the citizens of Brainerd are paying for when they pay the salaries of city council members. I thought it might be helpful to share one council person’s information.
I take home $513.12 a month (payment stub dated 12/28/13). Council members receive no per diems and I take no health insurance package/nor do I ask the citizens to reimburse me for the costs I incur regarding my health.
During the month of December and into early January, 2014, here is how I have spent my time:
• Four regularly scheduled council meetings and committee meetings, each lasting an average of 4 hours per night
•Approximately 10 hours of reading and research of topics prior to each meeting
• Attendance/participation in special meetings dealing with topics like budgets, fire issues, negotiation, economic development, etc. During the month I am highlighting, these meetings have amounted to over 25 hours.
• Additional committee assignments for which there is no additional reimbursement — mine include Property Owners/Managers group, The Center and BPU. During the month I have devoted a minimum of six hours on these committee assignments.
• Phone calls, emails and visits with citizens have taken about 10 hours this month.
• Of course there are meetings with staff regarding various issues — probably 12 hours a month. I won’t factor the unusual events of interviewing and eventually hiring a new city attorney and a new city administrator.
Looks like over 100 hours during the December/early January time period at $513.12 in pay.
We try to work hard — council members are citizens of Brainerd, too!
What do you think — are you getting your money’s worth?
Brainerd City Council