An opposing view: Moffat compares ‘apples to oranges’Duluth City Councilor Sharla Gardner, who sponsored the resolution to raise the mayor’s salary, responded to an email Garner Moffat sent to city leaders last week, challenging some of the points he makes in his commentary on today’s page.
Duluth City Councilor Sharla Gardner, who sponsored the resolution to raise the mayor’s salary, responded to an email Garner Moffat sent to city leaders last week, challenging some of the points he makes in his commentary on today’s page.
“Not all cities (Moffat cites) are run the same way as Duluth,” Gardner pointed out. “Of the cities (he) researched, only two, Minneapolis and St Paul, have a similar city structure in which the mayor is a hands-on administrator. Cities like Plymouth, Brooklyn Park, Rochester, etc., have mayors who have primarily ceremonial duties. They hire city managers to run the city at hefty salaries of over $110,000 per year. So (Moffat is) comparing apples to oranges.”
In researching her resolution, Gardner studied Minnesota and Wisconsin cities with similar charters to Duluth’s, cities with a “hands-on administrative mayor,” like Duluth has, she wrote.
“All of these cities’ mayors enjoy higher salaries than Duluth’s mayor, and they all have systems in which the mayor is actively running the city administrations, which again is the same way things are done in Duluth,” said Gardner, who represents the City Council’s 3rd District. “Some mayors, such as (in) St. Paul, get cars, etc. Duluth does not give any ‘perks’ to (its) mayor.
“If cost-of-living adjustments were applied since 2000 to the mayor’s current salary of $78,000, he would (be receiving more than) $106,000 per year, which is much more than (the) $97,500 per year (the City Council approved last week as the mayor’s new salary),” Gardner wrote.