Grand Junction salary comparison report made public after councilmember pushes back

Grand Junction city hall.
Grand Junction city hall.(City of Grand Junction)
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 3:35 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Documents from a closed-door Grand Junction City Council meeting are public, after a city councilman questioned why they were ever private.

We’re working for you to get the city to answer questions about what a public employee salary review means.

A notice posted on the city’s website shows the council held an executive session last week. That means the doors are closed and what’s said inside stays inside.

The notice says they’re talking about City Manager Greg Caton, and City Attorney John Shaver.

City of Grand Junction Manager Greg Caton.
City of Grand Junction Manager Greg Caton.(City of Grand Junction)

But, it turns out the council did more than just talk about the two’s performances.

They also listened to a consultant’s report comparing city manager and attorney salaries from around the state.

It’s done by the Employers’ Council. That’s a membership based human resources consulting company.

The report doesn’t mention Caton or Shaver.

City of Grand Junction Attorney John Shaver.
City of Grand Junction Attorney John Shaver.(City of Grand Junction)

Last summer, we told you Shaver’s raise put him at $204,600. Caton’s raise put him at $237,550.

A copy of his initial contract and it includes more than a salary: $500 for a car allowance, a 9% city contribution to his retirement as well as paid insurance and dental.

We don’t know the perks in other city managers’ contracts. But, you can see their base salaries in cities like Loveland, Greeley, and Fort Collins. The pay ranges from just over $224,000 to $316,000.

Same group of cities for the city attorney with the range from $196,000 to $231,000.

”Colorado’s open meetings law allows some things to be discussed in confidentiality by the elected body without the public observing,” said City Councilmember Dennis Simpson.

But Simpson says this consultant’s report doesn’t cut it. He should know. He’s fought and won open records requests for years. He asked the report be made public.

City of Grand Junction Councilmember Dennis Simpson.
City of Grand Junction Councilmember Dennis Simpson.(City of Grand Junction)

“It was obviously something that would not have hurt the public to receive and, in fact, I believe it violated the open meeting law, that we even had that presentation in executive session. When I objected, the rest of the council said, ‘well, okay, we’re going to continue with this presentation and executive session we’ll make the documents that were presented public after it’s over,’ which we did,” said Simpson.

We asked the city for details on the study, who approved it, and how much it cost. We asked for a copy of the contract used to procure it.

We’re still waiting to find out.