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Woodbury mayor, city council to get pay raise

Starting next year, Woodbury's mayor and city council are getting a raise.

With Woodbury's growing population, the city council approved increasing the mayor and city council members' wages to that of similar-sized cities.

Under the approved plan, council members will earn anywhere from $10,296 to $11,380 per year, up from $9,660 currently. The mayor's yearly pay could also increase to $14,946, up from $13,334, including a monthly $100 allowance for driving and parking.

Council will further discuss the exact salary amounts for final approval in December.

The council voted 4-1 on the increase during Wednesday’s council meeting, with council member Christopher Burns casting the lone no vote.

Burns said he struggled with the decision and ultimately felt the focus of a citizen-run council should be more about providing a public service.

“I think we should always struggle when making decisions on whether to increase our compensation,” Burns said after the meeting.

Though council members and the mayor are only required to work part-time, Burns acknowledged that Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephen and other council members often work more than they are required to.

In a report, the city compared mayoral and city council wages to that of other Twin Cities suburbs, which included Burnsville, Maple Grove, Coon Rapids and Blaine, among others.

Eagan, which has a population of more than 66,000, pays its mayor $13,624 annually, and council members there earn about $10,000, according to the report. On the higher end, Maple Grove's mayor earns $15,000 per year, and its council members earn $10,005 annually.

Overall, Woodbury policy-makers earn slightly less than average compared to similar cities across the metro.

“It is appropriate that the City of Woodbury compensate the Mayor and the City Council consistently with all other employee groups at the average of comparable cities,” the report read.

The report did not include cities like Rochester, Minneapolis or St. Paul, which have higher time commitments for elected officials.

The salary increase will take effect Jan. 1.

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