Commission recommends that council reinstate Edmonds mayor’s pay raise

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In July 2009, Edmonds Mayor Gary Haakenson was scheduled to get a 10 percent pay raise, but the Edmonds City Council voted to delay it until January 2011, due to “significant and unanticipated economic impacts” on the city’s budget. Now a seven-member citizens’ commission is recommending that the City Council reinstate that delayed $12,790 raise — which would increase the mayor’s salary from $113,210 to $125,000 annually — six months earlier than planned.

In a report to be presented to the City Council Tuesday night, the Citizens’ Commission on the Compensation of Elected Officials noted that it is “well aware of the current financial situation for the City,” which is facing a significant budget deficit and is considering whether to place a levy before voters later this year or in 2011 to offset the shortfall. However, the commission added, the mayor’s pay is “significantly below similar jurisdictions in both salary and benefits.”

The commission did not recommend increasing salary or benefit levels for the two other public officials’ positions they were tasked with analyzing — the city council and municipal court judge.

Also on the agenda for Tuesday night is continued discussion of a proposal, made by the council finance committee last Tuesday, on forming a committee to study the feasibility and timing of a future levy. In addition, the council will hold a reception honoring retiring Councilmember Dave Orvis.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers, located in the Public Safety Complex at 250 5th Ave. N. in Edmonds. The complete meeting agenda is here.

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