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Baxter City Council: Increases council salary for first time in 16 years

BAXTER--Beginning in 2019, Baxter's mayor and council members will earn more after the council adopted the first salary increase in 16 years. The last time the salary was adjusted was in 2001. Council member Steve Barrows researched the issue for...

Baxter City Council members Quinn Nystrom (left), Steve Barrows, Mayor Darrel Olson, Todd Holman and Mark Cross meet Tuesday. Renee Richardson/Brainerd Dispatch
Baxter City Council members Quinn Nystrom (left), Steve Barrows, Mayor Darrel Olson, Todd Holman and Mark Cross meet Tuesday. Renee Richardson/Brainerd Dispatch

BAXTER-Beginning in 2019, Baxter's mayor and council members will earn more after the council adopted the first salary increase in 16 years.

The last time the salary was adjusted was in 2001. Council member Steve Barrows researched the issue for the council. The council reported the subject came up as the city periodically reviews its salaries looking at comparable cities. Tuesday Barrows reported a recent analysis found a range of wages from $400 to $1,000 per month. Some cities provide other benefits to council members, including health insurance. Baxter council members are compensated with pay but do not receive health insurance.

In Baxter, currently the mayor receives $500 per month while the council members receive $475 per month. The council voted to raise the mayor's monthly salary to $650 and the council members to $550 per month beginning the first Monday in January of 2019. The additional salary for the position of mayor reflects the extra duties performed by the officer, the city reported.

Mayor Darrel Olson said in his years with the city he's never heard anyone complain about the salary and he doesn't think anyone runs for the office for the money. Because, he said, that would be really foolish.

Olson said there are a lot of meetings and that does take time away from family and other activities as the job is demanding on schedules.

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"I appreciate all the time that people put in," Olson said. "... Things have changed in 16 years and again I appreciate all the effort everyone extends to do this job."

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