The seven people tasked with making a recommendation about how much City council is worth are ready to start doing some math.
Brant Hasanen, chairman of the Council Remuneration Citizen Task Force, said Tuesday the public opinion gathering ended Friday and the group will meet Wednesday to look at what people said.
He estimated he interviewed between 100 and 150 people during the four sessions. He didn’t know how many people were surveyed in total, including what other members collected and online or drop-off submissions.
“I’m impressed at how engaged this community is,” he said. “Everyone was interested in sharing their opinions with me.”
City staffers are adding up the opinions in various categories so the task force will have a better breakdown for its next meeting.
“We’ll look at what the information is and try to create a common theme,” Hasanen said.
“The thing to me that was the biggest surprise is the inconsistency of response to question number one, which is, ‘Do you believe our council should be paid based on the average of a similar-sized community?’ That one was split down the middle.”
The task force is weighing what residents want to see council members paid with what councillors themselves believe the position is worth and what some of the actual costs of being a councillor are in other communities.
The final report mapping out the task force’s recommendations will go to council on Sept. 24.
Although other councils have rejected the recommendations of two previous task forces, Hasanen said it’s up to civic politicians to decide what to do with the information they’re given.
“We realize that it’s nothing personal. Typically, our responsibility is to interview, gather the data and weigh off what we want to accomplish and then make a recommendation.”