Clallam commissioners mull update to raises timeline

No increases planned; move matches state changes tied to judges

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County commissioners will update a resolution establishing salaries and benefits for elected officials to improve the administration of annual raises.

Commissioners Monday discussed revisions that would incorporate a new timeline for state-approved salary adjustments for Superior Court judges.

No raises or pay cuts are being proposed.

“It’s just a timeline change,” Clallam County Civil Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Elizabeth Stanley said.

Salaries for the county’s elected officials are based on a percentage of a Superior Court judge’s salary, which is set by the state.

The state also pays 50 percent of Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols’ salary.

“The amount the state was contributing to his salary goes up whenever the judges’ salaries go up, and that changes,” Stanley told the three commissioners in a Monday work session.

“It had historically been September. This year they switched it to July.”

Nichols is owed back pay from July as a result of the change in the state schedule, Stanley said.

“This [resolution] is just fixing the issue going forward,” Stanley said.

The three commissioners are expected to approve the amended resolution next Tuesday.

“This looks appropriate to me,” Board Chairman Mark Ozias told Stanley.

A Clallam County Superior Court judge earns $190,984 per year, County Administrator Rich Sill said in a Tuesday interview.

Nichols earns 89 percent of a judge’s salary, or $169,976, half of which is paid by the state.

Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict earns $137,508 per year, or 72 percent of a Superior Court judge’s salary.

The county assessor, auditor, community development director, treasurer and commissioners each earn 50 percent of a Superior Court judge’s salary, or $95,492, according to the proposed resolution.

“If the salaries of Superior Court Judges are increased during a calendar year, the salaries of the Assessor, Auditor, County Commissioners, Director of the Department of Community Development, the Sheriff and the Treasurer shall be adjusted on Jan. 1 of the following year,” the resolution states.

“If the salaries of the Superior Court Judges are increased during a calendar year, the salary of the Prosecutor shall be adjusted on the same schedule as the Superior Court judges.”

Clallam County’s elected officials receive the same benefits as members of a union bargaining unit and a 2 percent contribution to a retirement plan.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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