Shoshoni mayor salary to double in 2023; councilmembers getting a raise, too

Shoshoni’s mayor and council are getting a raise this year.

During a special meeting Dec. 30, the Shoshoni Town Council voted to double the mayor’s salary – from $400 per month currently, to $800 per month – effective in 2023.

The rate for councilmembers will rise from $75 per meeting to $100 per meeting, according to the resolution.


‘Too much’

Initially, the resolution stated that the mayor’s salary would rise to $1,300 per month, but Councilmember Bob Zent thought a 325 percent increase in pay would be “a little bit high.”

“That (is) too much – period,” he said.

Citing data from the Wyoming Association of Municipalities, Zent pointed out that the mayor of Gillette only gets $1,500 per month to oversee a city of tens of thousands of people.

But Gillette has a full-time city administrator, Shoshoni Mayor Joel Highsmith noted, so the mayor “does not (have to) manage the town.”


Dubois mayor

Zent had also pointed to smaller cities in Wyoming like Saratoga, Pine Bluffs, Sinclair, and Douglas, where the mayors all make $250 to $400 per month, but Highsmith chose to use Dubois as an example instead.

“The Dubois mayor gets $2,000 per month, gets furnished a car, and gets full medical,” Highsmith said. “He works at it full time (and) works very hard.”

Being mayor in Shoshoni is “a full-time job” too, Highsmith said, explaining that, in his personal and professional life, he has had to “hire things out to be done that I do not have time to do” because he was tending to his governmental duties.


“I do it … because it needs to be done,” Highsmith said. “But financially I may not be able to work this hard if I can’t afford to pay someone else to do some of the things I do.”

He noted that the $1,300 monthly rate represents about 20 hours of work per week at a rate of about $15 per hour.

“(That) is starting wage here for our employees,” Highsmith said. “But if the governing body feels differently, then so be it.”



Councilmember Tammie Hardtke said she “could see it going to $800” per month for the mayor, but “that would be the top, as far as I would go.”

Councilmember Mike Dimick agreed.

“I would support the $800 mark, but I wouldn’t be willing to go past that either,” he said.

Zent said he would “be content” with $600 per month for the mayor – the rate that was already scheduled to go into effect this year, per a council vote in 2020.

He also asked about the “timing” of the salary change request, which he thought should have been brought forward months earlier, as opposed to “two days before the start of a new year.”

Highsmith said statewide revenue estimates came in “pretty positive” at the end of the year, and that’s what prompted him to make the request now.

“It looks much better than what we thought,” Highsmith said. “It looks like we can afford this.”

3-2 vote

Councilmember Beau Weaver said an increase in salary might motivate more people to run for public office in Shoshoni, and Highsmith agreed, recalling that “we had a hard time filling the field for city council” seats this year.

“(This) can help attract more people … to do public service,” Highsmith said. “A financial reward is not a bad thing.”

The council voted 3-2 to amend the resolution to reflect an $800 monthly salary for the mayor beginning in 2023, instead of $1,300.

Zent and Dimick were the two who voted against the amendment.

The resolution, as amended, passed 3-2 as well, with Zent and Dimick again voting “no.”

For more information call the Town of Shoshoni at 876-2515.


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