Mayor Jennifer Gregerson (left) and Councilwoman Anna Rohrbough at a Mukilteo City Council meeting in May. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Mayor Jennifer Gregerson (left) and Councilwoman Anna Rohrbough at a Mukilteo City Council meeting in May. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Mukilteo’s next mayor will keep the $70K pay plus benefits

A vote by the City Council to decrease compensation ended in a tie, so it failed on its second try.

MUKILTEO — Thanks to a deadlocked Mukilteo City Council, the mayor elected in 2022 will continue to earn $70,800 a year plus benefits.

A proposal to cut the mayor’s salary to $36,000 and strip all benefits failed when the vote ended in a tie at Monday’s council meeting.

The mayor’s role and responsibilities have been hot-button issues with the divided council. A proposition on the Nov. 5 ballot to change the format of government from a strong mayor to council-manager failed. Had it passed, it would have meant Mayor Jennifer Gregerson would have been out of a job midway through her second term.

The pay cut proposal was not part of the ballot proposition, which was defeated by voters.

At Monday’s meeting, three citizens spoke against a salary cut, including former Mayor Joe Marine. He lost to Gregerson in 2013 and won a seat on the council last month after a six-year break from politics. His new council term starts in January.

Charlie Pancerzewski, a former councilman turned citizen watchdog who attends most meetings and speaks up often, voiced support for the proposed salary cut.

Councilmembers Anna Rohrbough, Christine Cook and Steve Schmalz voted in favor of the motion to cut the pay of future mayors. Councilmember Sarah Kneller did not attend the meeting.

Rohrbough, a frequent critic of the mayor and the council member who in 2018 initiated a no-confidence vote in her, said it wasn’t “personal.”

It’s “fiscal,” she said.

Cook agreed.

“It’s a budgetary decision,” she said.

Council members are paid $6,000 a year.

The fate of the legislation hung in the balance, briefly, when Richard Emery and Bob Champion voted against it.

The deciding opposing vote was cast by new councilmember Riaz Khan.

“A part-time mayor would have to work full time somewhere else, do a double job,” Khan said later. “We need a full-time mayor, full benefits, so she can focus here.”

If passed, the salary cut wouldn’t have gone into effect until after Gregerson’s current term is over.

Khan, who was elected to the council on his third try, took the seat earlier than the other new candidates because the position he won became vacant. He was sworn in Nov. 27 after Scott Whelpley resigned, saying he was moving out of the city. Whelpley, who lost his run for re-election against Emery, voted in favor of the ordinance when it was first proposed in November.

At that time, the ordinance failed in a tie after Rohrbough abstained. “As as soon as I abstained I knew I made a mistake,” she said Monday. She made a motion for a revote.

Monday’s meeting was the last for Cook and Schmalz, who did not seek re-election. Both were in favor of the council-manager format that was rejected by voters.

Andrea Brown:; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

Talk to us

More in Local News

The Dreamlifter Operations Center at Paine Field airport on June 6, 2019. The operations center is located next the Boeing Future of Flight Aviation Center. (Janice Podsada / Herald file)
FedEx said to be in talks to take over Dreamlifter center

The air cargo carrier would need federal approval to establish regular service from Paine Field in Everett.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Timely police reform; Ferguson weighs in on drug possession

Here’s what’s happening on Day 101 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

Brecca Yates, left, helps guide dental student Kaylee Andrews through a crown prep exercise at Northshore Dental Assisting Academy on Friday, April 9, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dental staffing shortages are more than a pain in the mouth

With hundreds of open hygienist and assistant positions statewide, local dentists are short-handed.

Officer Mark Brinkman (Lynnwood Police Department)
Community mourns death of Lynnwood officer Mark Brinkman, 55

He was a leader in DUI enforcement and known for his caring and kindness, even to those he arrested.

The Lenz composting facility borders. (Google Earth)
Odors are a concern if Stanwood composting operation expands

Air regulators drew up a draft permit that would allow Lenz Enterprises to double in size. Residents can weigh in.

With desks stacked away to provide social distance spacing, tenth grader Zendon Bugge attends a World History class during the first day of school for Everett High students on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Students statewide returned to school buildings on Monday

Districts are now required to provide in-person class two days a week for kids through grade 12.

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Club president Zachary Nelson explains to a pair of students how the currency works while handing out free cryptocurrency at the University of Washington Bothell on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Crypto’s wild ride: It’s winning fans from here to Wall Street

Digital currency is worth trillions to traders betting on Dogecoin, Bitcoin and other blockchains.

Langley has become a passport hotspot for off-islanders

In Snohomish County, appointments are reportedly booked out months in advance.

Snohomish County kicks off new rental assistance program

It starts with nearly $25 million from the U.S. Treasury Department. More funding is expected soon.

Most Read