Public executive salary sidebar –the Governing Boards

Board members’ compensation ranges from $0 to $76K

By Mark Reaman

While all of the top public executives in the valley make more than six figures, they generally work for elected or appointed citizens who oversee operations as a board. Like the executives, the board members pull in a wide range of compensation for their oversight, ranging from nothing to upwards of $75,000. Here is a look at compensation for local public board members.

The Gunnison County commissioners are the highest paid of the local elected officials. While councilmembers in Crested Butte, Mt. Crested Butte and the city of Gunnison all are compensated for their legislative work, the commissioners make the most money for their work as elected officials.

According to Gunnison county finance director Linda Nienhueser, two of the current county commissioners, Jonathan Houck and John Messner, make about $76,000, while Phil Chamberland makes $58,500. “Per Colorado Revised Statutes, Commissioners who took office after January 1, 2007, but prior to January 1, 2016 in Category III (Gunnison County included) are paid $58,500 annually; Commissioners who took office after January 1, 2016 in Category III A (Gunnison County included) are paid $76,050 annually,” she explained in an email. “Also beginning as of January 1, 2018, and January 1 each two years thereafter, pay shall be adjusted based on consumer price index for Denver-Boulder-Greeley as spelled out in the Statute language.”

Crested Butte councilmembers are paid to sit on council as well. Crested Butte finance director Lois Rozman said the mayor of Crested Butte receives $900 per month, or $10,800 annually, and councilmembers get $500 per month, which amounts to $6,000 a year. Because that rate was established after they were elected, councilmembers Laura Mitchell and Paul Merck are tied to the old rate of $400 per month ($4,800 annually) as they haven’t gone through an election since the pay adjustment was made.

In Mt. Crested Butte, councilmembers are paid $150 per meeting, while the mayor gets double that at $300 per meeting. There are two regularly scheduled meetings per month.

The city of Gunnison pays each council representative $500 per month, while the mayor gets $600.

Many of those serving on the local boards referenced in the public executive salary story do not receive any salary. Western State Colorado University trustees serve on a voluntary/gratis basis. Gunnison Re1J school board members are in the same boat and are not paid for their service. Gunnison Valley Health board members are also volunteer positions and are not paid.

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