Top city officials get pay raise
Aspen, CO ColoradoASPEN After giving performance reviews for City Manager Steve Barwick and City Attorney John Worcester, the Aspen City Council agreed to give both men raises and bonuses totaling nearly $55,000.Barwick’s salary will go up 6 percent from $150,000 to $159,000, and he will receive a bonus of $15,212, according to a city press release.Worcester’s salary will rise from $139,788 to $150,971, and his bonus will be $19,254, up from $15,000 last year.”Considering Aspen’s challenges and the level of skill our city manager and city attorney have, this is reasonable related to their performance and makes sense with the cost of living here,” Mayor Helen Klanderud said in the release.According to the press release, the city has a goal “to pay all employees salaries that are in the 75th percentile of the salaries paid in similar municipalities.”In 2005, the council compared Barwick’s salary to those for the same position in other Western Slope resort towns. In 2005, total compensation packages for the same position in those towns were as follows:• Vail: $193,125• Avon: $164,924• Breckenridge: $169,689• Steamboat Springs: $134,728• Glenwood Springs: $120,333• Snowmass Village: $204,665The press release did not outline exactly what benefits those total compensation packages include. Councilman Torre hadn’t seen the press release Tuesday night, so he wasn’t sure if the figures for Barwick and Worcester included just bonuses or if the numbers included retirement or other benefits as well. He said the council as a whole came up with total amounts for the two men and gave Klanderud some direction as to how to divide the totals, but it left her some discretion in the final divisions.”We take into consideration salary, bonus, retirement, benefits – we take into account all of the compensation elements,” he said of the council’s decision process.Newly appointed Councilwoman Jasmine Tygre had not been sworn in before the reviews and did not weigh in on the decision.Torre acknowledged it might be hard for citizens who make little more than the bonuses alone to swallow the amounts. But in light of the work Barwick and Worcester do and the city’s goal for employee salaries to be in the 75th percentile, he stood by the decision.”It’s hard for me to say that these guys are overpaid when, comparatively speaking, they’re in the 75th percentile,” he said.Abigail Eagye’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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