Dec 1, 2021 - News

Minneapolis Park Board considers giving commissioners pay raises

Members of the Minneapolis Park Board pose for a photo
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board commissioners. Photo courtsey of the Park Board

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will vote Wednesday night on giving commissioners a pay raise.

What's happening: Chris Meyer, an outgoing commissioner, is proposing a new compensation of $20,000 annually, up from about $12,500 per year.

  • The move, he said, is meant to keep pay in line with inflation and because a higher salary would attract more people to run for Park Board.

Of note: Commissioners broached the idea in 2018, saying a hike would allow more low-income and diverse candidates to run on the part-time board.

State of play: Just two board members, incumbents Meg Forney and Steffanie Musich, would receive the pay increase.

  • The other seven members on the nine-member board are voting on a pay increase that they would not receive because it would go into effect after they leave the board.

Between the lines: Meyer is proposing that the board pay for about 40% of the increase by cutting its $30,000 annual contract with Tom Workman, a Republican lobbyist who represents the Park Board at the Legislature.

  • "If we're going to have that position, Tom Workman is an excellent person to fill it. But I don't believe in the value of the position," Meyer said.

What to watch: Some commissioners won't support the Workman cut. Forney said she supports a compensation increase, but expects Park Board staff to present alternative options for funding it.

  • The Park Board depends on aid and bonding projects from the Legislature.
  • "We could not have gotten the funding that we got without some sort of Republican support," Forney said.
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