A representative from People Wise of Missouri Inc. presented the Edgerton City Council with the results of its wage and benefit analysis Thursday evening.

According to People Wise President J. Kevin Robinson, the purpose of the report is to “identify human resource employment practices, market place competition, possible competitive strategies, and provide the city with insight and considerations for today and future employee attraction, hiring and retention strategies.”

The consulting firm compared Edgerton’s city staff salaries, city staff duties, population, median household income and distance from the downtown Kansas City area with those of other metro cities. Other cities in the study include Spring Hill, Baldwin City, Paola, Wellsville and Sedgwick City.

The report found that in terms of median household income ($38,881.60 for both Edgerton and Spring Hill), all of the focus cities were comparable with Edgerton.

“Noting that Spring Hill and Edgerton show the same average median household income is of particular interest,” the report says, “even though the population itself has a wide difference.”

The report places Edgerton’s estimated population at 1,817; Spring Hill’s is 5,227.

The report also compares the salaries of city officials in the selected towns. Edgerton City Administrator David Dillner is paid $56,118.40 per year, while Spring Hill City Administrator Jonathan Roberts receives $93,017.60 annually. The salary difference, the report notes, exists because Roberts also acts as the city’s office manager. Edgerton’s office manager, Candace Duarte, makes $48,000 each year (see accompanying table for more information on city employees’ salaries).

For Edgerton, the report also offered data on each job’s total “real value,” which is the monetary amount each city employee receives not only in salary, but in benefits as well. In addition to Dillner’s annual salary of $56,000, for instance, his benefits also total $21,566.52 for medical insurance, $56 for life insurance and $575.64 for dental insurance; therefore, the city administrator’s total “real value” is $78,316.56. Duarte, in addition to a $48,000 per year salary, receives more than $12,000 in benefits; the real value for her position comes to $60,000.

According to the report, the study does not take into account variant taxes based on location of employment, the fluctuating cost of fuel and insurance costs based upon commutes.
The report advocates for a revised pay scale in which full-time city employees have the potential to move beyond the top-out point designated to their position and move to an even higher pay scale.

“This would allow not only opportunities for those that are reaching top-out of a certain ranking to move to another ranking, but also for advancement potential, as in merit,” the report states. “The employees that are currently located in a certain pay level can increase income by making their own skill inventories increase…”

Three examples by which this can be accomplished include obtaining a higher educational degree, such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree; achieving learning credits offered by Johnson County Community College, among others; and obtaining additional skill sets, such as OSHA or HVAC certification.

Under the old pay scale, Dillner’s maximum annual salary is $56,232. Under the new proposed salary scale , the city administrator could make as much as $59,394.98 per year.

Similarly, Duarte’s maximum salary is currently set at $48,037 and could rise to $51,647.81 under the new proposed salary scale.
The report acknowledges, however, that the proposed pay scale likely will not be adopted by the city anytime soon.

“When taking into account the current economic situation and historical reliance upon the consumer price index for a cost of living adjustment, this is not a valid procedure now,” the report states.“Other cities that participated in this survey stated that there was no COLA for 2010, since the beginning signs of the recovery from the recent recession shows signs of ending.”