Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mayor calls for changes in how his job's salary is set

Posted By on Tue, Apr 7, 2015 at 9:45 AM

Spokane Mayor David Condon has revived the issue of how the city’s top elected official is paid, pressing the city council to put before voters on the “next available ballot” a proposal that would have his his salary set by the citizen-led Salary Review Commission.

In a letter to Council President Ben Stuckart, dated April 2, Condon requested that the city’s legislative body send a charter amendment to voters which, if approved, would have the mayor’s salary determined by the Salary Review Commission, which currently sets the pay for the council and municipal judges.

Under the current charter, the mayor’s salary matches that of the highest paid city employee. During last year’s budget process, Police Chief Frank Straub, currently the most highly compensated city employee, got raise to $179,484 a year under a contract with the city, so Condon got a raise, too, to the chagrin of the city council.

“We heard a lot of consternation last year about what the problems were but I have yet to see a plan come out of city council,” said Condon at a press conference on Monday.

Although Condon ended up not taking that raise after all, there have been calls to alter how the mayor’s salary is set.

In December, Councilman Mike Fagan proposed that council place on the February ballot a measure that would put the Salary Review Commission in charge of setting the mayor’s salary. However, Stuckart deferred council from taking action on Fagan’s proposal because it would appear on the same ballot as a levy to fund Spokane Public Schools.

Condon said he doesn’t have a preference if the measure appears on the August 4 primary ballot or the general election in November.

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