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Should Hopkins Officials Make More Than The Governor?

Hopkins’ top salary ranked 52nd among Minnesota cities, according to a recent analysis.

Hopkins officials are not among the dozens of local government employees who make more than Gov. Mark Dayton, according to an Associated Press analysis released Sunday.

In Hopkins, not even the highest-paid officials all earn more than the governor’s $120,303 annual salary:

  • City Manager Mike Mornson makes $118,477.
  • Public Works Director Steve Stadler makes $108,763.
  • Police Chief Mike Reynolds makes $105,643.

State law requires cities and counties to list the salaries of the three highest-paid officials. To put together its analysis, the Associated Press examined the salary notices of 126 cities and counties with more than 15,000 residents.

The analysis found that at least 145 city and county employees are paid better than the governor, although there are almost certainly more since governments only have to list the top three salaries.

The Associated Press also concluded that city and county government salaries have grown rapidly since the state removed a cap that prevented most local government employees from making more than the governor.

The Hennepin County medical examiner’s $231,732 salary was the highest on the list. For cities, the Rochester city administrator’s $165,780 pay was top.

Hopkins’ top salary ranked 52nd among the nearly 70 cities on the list.

Critics say the salaries are a good example of why Minnesota should have kept the cap, but cities and counties say the pay is necessary to attract and retain the best people.

The Pioneer Press has published a searchable database of the Associated Press’ data.


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