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City Employees Poised to Get a Raise as Part of Park City Budget Talks

Park City Municipal

The Park City Council continued their annual budget discussions this week. On the table is a pay increase for many city employees aimed at making Park City a more desirable place to work.


With employers across the country facing a shortage of qualified employees to fill positions, Park City is looking to make the city a more attractive organization for current and future staff.


As part of the city’s annual budget talks, city council is currently examining increasing employee pay. Under consideration is a two-year plan to gradually raise compensation for various positions at city hall to be in line with the 75th percentile of market rate, which would equate to an average pay increase of 4.66%, costing the city roughly $1.5 million.


The recommendation comes after a study by an outside consulting firm, as well as a blue-ribbon committee made up of various local business and nonprofit leaders.


Councilor Steve Joyce, who is normally seen as a more fiscally conservative member of the council, cited the city’s immediate need for quality employees as a reason to explore increasing pay even further. He said vacant positions in key city departments create undue burdens on the rest of city staff.  


“Just for what it’s worth, we’re walking into the summer already, you can see with Silly Market, talking to the lodging places, trying to get a reservation at a restaurant, the answer is this city is gonna be slammed wide open all summer long and that’s gonna hit every event we have, that’s gonna hit police and traffic and parking and everybody,” Joyce said. “As soon as we talk about being down another two people in a department or something, the impacts of that are gonna be felt incredibly hard.” 


City Manager Matt Dias said the pay increases discussed by the council will be targeted more towards lower-level employees not in managerial roles as opposed to the more senior members of staff.


“Employee pay is very, very sensitive,” he said. “We took that really, really seriously. To be honest, the raises we are talking about, they’re not even really for this group in here, it’s about the men and women that are working as lifeguards, the men and women that are helping with our fields and our irrigation systems and working throughout the community.”


Councilor Tim Henney told KPCW that although the city is in a unique and advantageous position as a desirable place to live and work, the city would be wise to offer the most competitive pay possible in order to attract the best talent. 


“Employees in both the first responders at the fire district and first responders in our police department want to work in Park City,” said Henney. “Park City is seen as a very special and unique place, so we start in a great place, they want to work here, but we can’t then say, ‘oh, and because you want to work here, we’re gonna pay you at a discount to other places.’ That really is going backwards. So, we start in a great place and we have to build from there, and if we do that, if we combine the two, I think we put ourselves in a very good position to attract those quality employees.”


At the direction of the council, city staff will re-examine the proposed pay plan before the budget for FY22 is finalized on June 24th.

Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.