Longtime City Council member Joe Polowski announced that he is not running for re-election in 2019, opening up a coveted spot on the Deer Park City Council.
When it was revealed that the mayoral and council pay rate has not changed in Deer Park for many years, Richard Schut, local business owner and city councilman, began doing research on Deer Park’s pay rates and how they compare to other small towns. Choosing five towns with populations larger than Deer Park, and five towns with populations smaller, it was confirmed that the pay scale had not been changed to allot for growth and economic change over the years.
Deer Park’s pay scale for council members turned out to be below the average, but interestingly, the pay rate for Mayor was higher than the average in the small data sample.
However, Schut was quick to point out that the data he compiled likely had its flaws. As the most recent census data was from 2010, Schut used an online calculator from City-data.com to retrieve the percentage of growth, acknowledging that they may not be entirely accurate.
Regardless, Schut’s endeavor brought into light the importance of continuously reviewing pay rates for local elected officials and making sure they correspond with local economic growth.
While researching pay scales for other towns, Schut also unintentionally discovered an interesting piece of information: out of the eleven towns researched, Deer Park was the only city that does not have its own police force.