Q. How does the pay for Ann Arbor’s mayor and city council people compare to other cities in the Midwest?

A. These comparisons can be tricky, because job descriptions vary–some cities employ a city administrator in addition to their elected officials, some don’t. Salaries also vary by region and by city size.

For cities of 100,000 to 250,000 in the North Central states, city administrator salaries recently had a median of $154,000, while the median chief elected official salary was $39,000. A 2005 study of forty-seven cities with council-manager governments and populations between 100,000 and 250,000 found the average council salary was $18,000.

Ann Arbor administrator Roger Fraser is paid $145,356 a year. Mayor John Hieftje makes $42,435 a year, and council members get $15,514. Hieftje has called on elected officials to take a 3 percent pay cut, but that’s up to the city compensation commission, which won’t meet until 2011. In the meantime, Hieftje and many council members are donating 3 percent of their pay back to the city.

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