Prairie Village boosts pay for city employees — here’s how that compares to other NEJC cities

Prairie Village staff pay

The city of Prairie Village recently approved a 1.8% adjustment for employee pay ranges. See how that translates to dollars and compares to neighboring cities' pay ranges for city staff. File image.

The Prairie Village City Council earlier this month unanimously approved a 1.8% increase for employee compensation ranges.

The increase comes as some candidates for city council candidates this year have expressed concern about the city’s spending habits.

But the 1.8% increase approved by the current council on Monday, Oct. 18, is below the recommendation from a consultant to increase compensation ranges by 2.5%, which as made, in part, to account for ongoing staff shortages nationwide due to the pandemic.

“As we all know, there are many, many people looking to hire,” Cindy Volanti, the city’s human resources director, told the council. “We’re all fighting for the same people.”

Although the consultants suggested a 2.5% increase, Volanti said there is a citywide compensation study coming up that may result in future compensation adjustments for the 2023 budget.

Additionally, Volanti said Prairie Village’s benefits are “at a top level” and are of significant value in employee recruitment and retention.

Here’s a look at how the 1.8% compensation ranges increase translates into dollar amounts in Prairie Village for some prominent city staff positions:

  • City administrator’s will be paid anywhere from $136,857 to $205,296. Assistant city administrators will be paid between $75,592 and $113,383.
  • The chief of police will be paid between $119,345 and $192,375, while police officers will be paid between $45,768 and $89,565.
  • The public works director will be paid between $101,716 to $152,568.

Here’s a look at some other northeast Johnson County cities’ compensation for city employees, compared to Prairie Village:

Lenexa

The last time the city of Lenexa adjusted its pay plan ranges was in 2019, by 1%, Communications Director Denise Rendina told the Post via email.

Although the city manager’s salary is negotiated annually and is currently $217,106, below are the compensations for other positions, according to data provided by Rendina:

  • The assistant city manager makes between $84,195 and $102,930.
  • A police officer makes between $44,188 and $65,145, while a deputy chief of police makes between $95,950 and $136,350.
  • The deputy municipal services director, which is responsible for public works, makes between $92,910 $134,259.

Rendina said the city is collecting data from a compensation stud, and is likely to present an updated pay plan to the governing body in December.

Merriam

Jenna Gant, Merriam’s communications and public engagement manager, told the Post via email that the city recently approved a 1.2% increase to salary ranges and a 3% merit increase.

Below are the city of Merriam’s salaries, according to its 2021 budget summary:

  • The city administrator makes between $108,210 and $162,314, while the assistant city administrator makes between $95,404 and $143,103.
  • A police officer makes between $44,810 and $67,214, while the chief of police makes between $95,404 and $143, 106.
  • The public works director, like the chief of police, makes between $95,404 and $143,106.

Mission

The city council approved an approximately 13.3% adjustment in September for the first time since 2017, City Administrator Laura Smith told the Post via email.

That keeps the city at around the 60th percentile of wages in Kansas City region, she said.

Below is a look at how that translates to dollars in Mission:

  • The city administrator makes between $116,284 and $168,598, while the deputy city administrator makes between $105,980 and $153,662. The assistant city administrator makes between $95,674 and $138,762.
  • A police officer makes between $48,314 to $70,059, while the chief of police makes between $105,980 and $153,662.
  • The public works director makes between $95,674 and $138,726.

Overland Park

Meg Ralph, digital communications supervisor, said 2021 adjustments were as high as 2.25%, while market adjustments were as high as 1%. The city manager’s salary is determined by the governing body, she said.

Similarly, the assistant city manager, police chief and public works director positions are all senior management positions and don’t have compensation ranges, Ralph said.

Police officers make anywhere from $45,618 to $82,220.

Seasonal and part-time employees vary, but can range from $7.25 to $25 an hour, Ralph said.

Shawnee

The city of Shawnee adjusted city staff compensation ranges by 1.7% in 2021. That translates to the following:

  • Assistant city managers make between $85,820 to $128,730, but the city manager’s position is appointed — therefore there’s no pre-determined salary range.
  • A police officer makes between $45,478 and $50,373, while the chief of police makes between $109,411 and $169,587.
  • The public works director makes between $109,411 and $169,587, like the chief of police.