Vancouver mayor most councilors to get raises

first_imgThe Vancouver mayor and members of the city council, with one exception, will receive salary increases in January for the first time since 2009, the salary review commission decided Thursday.Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt’s monthly salary will increase 4.5 percent, from $2,200 to $2,300, or $27,600 a year.Councilors Jack Burkman, Anne McEnerny-Ogle, Alishia Topper, Bart Hansen and Bill Turlay will receive 1 percent increases, from $1,781 a month to $1,800, or $21,600 a year.The position of mayor pro tem, currently occupied by Larry Smith, was the biggest source of discussion on Thursday. The mayor pro tem wields the gavel at meetings in the mayor’s absence and stands in for him at ribbon-cuttings and other community events. A previous salary commission decided the extra duties were worth extra money. But this commission decided it was too much extra money and decreased the pro tem’s monthly pay 5 percent, from $2,000 to $1,900, or $22,800 a year.The vote for the 2015-16 salary schedule was 3-1, with Chairman Lyle Coblentz dissenting because he disagreed with lowering the salary for the mayor pro tem.Salary review commission members Stan Girt, Candace Jameson and Barry Hemphill voted in favor of the new salaries.Member Ben De Lozier was absent. He had to tend to a water leak at his home, he explained in an email.At earlier meetings, commission members generally agreed that raises were due because the city’s finances have improved, even if the council and mayor already earn higher salaries than their counterparts at similarly sized cities that, like Vancouver, don’t have a strong mayor form of government.Cities including Tacoma and Spokane have full-time mayors, but in Vancouver the administrative duties are overseen by City Manager Eric Holmes. The mayor and council set policy and represent the city on various boards.last_img read more

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