Politicians are considering whether to slash the salary for the second highest paid job at Hertfordshire County Council by around £20,000 after its current incumbent leaves.
Mike Parsons, the county’s director of resources and performance, is set to exit his £148,500-a-year post at the end of this month to take up a role in central government.
Next week councillors are due to discuss proposals to lower his replacement’s salary to around £130,000 a year. However officers said a higher wage should be considered for any "exceptional candidates" who apply.
In a report to the council’s employment committee, which sits on Monday, officers said the role would remain largely the same when the new person took it up, with responsibilities for finance, property, IT, human resources, legal, democratic, performance and procurement services.
However officers said the chief executive, John Wood, wanted to review the role in light of the council’s "transformation and cost savings".
The report said: "Having taken into account market intelligence in order to attract the right calibre of applicants and given the scale and breadth of the role and the organisation, the role has been advertised at circa £130K, with more for an exceptional candidate."
The plan for the current salary reduction comes after the county council has cut the pay packets of other top officers in the last year.
The basic salary for the chief executive’s role was slashed from just over £203,000 to £170,000 when the previous incumbent, Caroline Tapster, left last year.
In 2009 the council came under fire when it first emerged the basic wage bill for its top eleven employees cost the taxpayer just under £1.5m a year combined.
The latest figures from the council, for 2012, show the authority has nine officers earning basic salaries of more than £100,000 at a total cost to the taxpayer of £1,127,548 a year.