Sequim City Council to consider raises for city manager, council members at tonight's meeting

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM –– City Council members will discuss pay raises for themselves and for City Manager Steve Burkett tonight (Monday).

The agenda for tonight's meeting includes a proposal to increase monthly base pay to council members while eliminating compensation for special meetings.

The council also will consider a 3 percent raise for Burkett.

The council meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sequim Transit Center, 190 W. Cedar St.

Burkett's raise would take his annual salary to $131,078 from the current $127,260. It would be put into effect retroactive to March 1.

“It would be nice to be able to give him the moon, but we can't do that,” Mayor Candace Pratt said.

The council rated Burkett's performance at 9.1 on a 10-point scale in a special meeting April 12.

Burkett received a 5 percent raise last year. He was hired by the city in 2009 at a salary of $120,000.

He also receives a car allowance of $400 a month.

“Well, certainly that's up to the council to decide,” Burkett said when asked if he deserved the raise Saturday.

“If they think I've deserved it, they'll vote that way.”

Burkett said he's instructed the council to consider parity among similar positions in the area, performance and affordability.

The proposed salary would keep Burkett's pay in the middle of the pack when compared with salaries of similar positions on the North Olympic Peninsula.

Among comparisons listed for the council in Monday's agenda are Port of Port Angeles Executive Director Ken O'Hollaren's $145,000 salary; Clallam County Administrator Jim Jones, $140,637; Port Angeles City Manager Dan McKeen, $137,725; Sequim School District Superintendent Kelly Shea, $133,900; and Port Townsend City Manager David Timmons, $124,212.

The raise would have a minimal impact on the city's budget, Burkett said.

Council-member pay would rise from $150 to $250 a month, with the mayor pro tem's wages rising from $200 to $330 and the mayor from $250 to $410.

The proposal also would do away with the $20 council members receive for attending up to four special meetings per month.

(The mayor of Port Angeles gets paid $650 per month, with the deputy (pro-tem) mayor getting $600 and other City Council members getting $500.)

It is a ''matter of bringing it up from 1995 levels to something a little bit closer to 2014, given inflation,” Burkett said of the proposal to raise Sequim council members' pay.

Council raises would not take effect until the next election for individual seats: 2016 for those now held by Mayor Candace Pratt and council members Ken Hays, Erik Erichsen and Laura Dubois, and 2018 for the seat now held by Mayor Pro Tem Dennis Smith and council members Ted Miller and Genaveve Starr.

The proposed raises would increase the cost to the city by $2,760 over the next four years.
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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 27. 2014 11:48PM
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