Edmonds Salary Commission Tuesday to recommend raises for mayor, city council

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The City of Edmonds Salary Commission on Tuesday, Sept. 12 will officially present to the Edmonds City Council its recommendations for salary increases for both the Edmonds mayor and city council. According to state law, the commission’s recommendations are binding and there will be no changes to them.

In a letter to Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling and the City Council, the five-member salary commission noted that during their four meetings in July and August, they took citizen testimony and also held two public hearings on the matter. In addition, the commission provided an online questionnaire to obtain public input and also prepared a survey that asked the mayor and councilmembers for their opinions.

The commission noted it reviewed and discussed “current compensation information such as salary, wages, health insurance, allowances, benefits and other forms of remuneration commonly received in return for services from comparative cities of similar population size and forms of government as Edmonds throughout King, Snohomish, Pierce Thurston and Kitsap counties.”

Based on that work, the commission is recommending cost of living adjustments (COLA) to the mayor’s salary for 2018 and 2019 based on Seattle Area Consumer Price Index (CPI) annual percent change. The 2018 increase of 3 percent is based on the figure released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in June 2017. It brings the mayor’s salary in 2018 to $121,912 — up from $118,361 currently. The 2019 increase will be based on the CPI released in June 2018.

The commission also agreed to increase city councilmembers’ base wages to $1,500 per councilmember per year, effective Jan. 1, 2018, bringing their total compensation to $13,500 — from the current $12,000. And the commission recommended that councilmembers receive another $1,500 annually in January 2019, to raise the total annual compensation to $15,000.

Both the mayor and councilmembers also receive the same health benefits package as non-represented city employees, and the salary commission determined that health benefits will stay the same. Those would change in the future “only if the benefits package offered to non-represented employees changes (either plan, or contribution rate),” the commission said.

Finally, the commission said that the additional compensation of council president — now $200 per month on top of the councilmembers’ base salary — should remain the same.

The salary commission includes five citizen volunteers who were recommended for appointment by the mayor and confirmed by the city council earlier this year.

The salary commission presentation will occur during the business portion of Tuesday night’s council meeting. After that, the council will meet in committees, with the following items on the agenda for discussion at the same time in separate rooms:

 

Parks, Planning, and Public Works Committee (Jury Meeting Room)
– Edmonds Veteran’s Plaza update and request for an additional $31,000 in funding to address unanticipated construction challenges.
– Interlocal agreement with Snohomish County for Community Garden at Esperance Park.
– Interlocal Agreement with the Edmonds School District for Meadowdale Preschool

Finance Committee (Council Chamber)
– July budgetary financial report
– Contracting and purchasing and capital asset policy updates
– Long-range financial planning committee presentation of revised reserve policy

Public Safety and Personnel Committee (Police Training Room)
– Review of the Legislative Assistant/Administrative Assistant position description to include additional duties of records management.
– Review of an Indigenous Peoples Day resolution that was approved earlier by the Edmonds Diversity Commission. The resolution would recognize the second Monday in October as both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples Day in the City of Edmonds.

The council is also scheduled to meet in executive session prior to the 7 p.m. business meeting, at 6:20 p.m., to discuss collective bargaining.

The location is the Council Chambers, Public Safety Complex, 250 5th Ave. N. You can see the complete agenda here.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Shouldn’t the total annual compensation number include benefits? If I recall the health insurance afforded Council members is something they can take or get the cash value of if they already have health insurance. The numbers in this article do not reflect the the total compensation but rather the base salary. What is the actual total compensation ( including benefits)? Not that I disagree, but the public has a right to know the total compensation figure.

  2. I agree that we should know the cost of health benefits and the money allocated be counted in compensation. Not knowing the cost of health benefits leads to ignorance about the cost.
    I have learned more about the complicated system we have. My son Dave Chase has been involved in this area and has recently written a book for those involved in choosing health benefits. We can get good coverage and still pay less.
    As a retired teacher I always thought our heaLTH BENEFITS (AT THAT TIME OVER $10,000) should be public knowledge. I still think that.

  3. I’ve pointed out several times that the committee name needs to be changed to “Compensation Committee”; I don’t know why there’s an obvious reluctance to make that change.
    The chairman reported that councilmembers have not had an increase in their base salaries since 2002, other than the inclusion of $400 a month for meeting attendance – assuming that they attend 8 meetings each month. That turns out to be a gift to most councilmembers because while they usually do attend 4 council meetings, they do not attend 4 committee meetings. Proof of that is that since the change was made in 2013 reports on committee meetings have been very skimpy with often no reports from some. I’m disappointed that the commission did not revert back to the previous practice of a base salary plus payment for meetings attended.

  4. $22,339.92 is the total compensation for Council. $13,500 plus health insurance @$8839.92 which can be taken in cash if they opt out. That should be the reported total compensation number, it isn’t hard to find.

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