Raises in store for Edmonds City Council, mayoral positions

The pay bumps would take effect as the city prepares to vote for a new mayor and council members.

EDMONDS — Raises may be coming to city council members and the mayor.

The Edmonds Salary Commission’s pay recommendation includes a $10,000 bump for the mayor over two years and two $1,000 raises for council members, one in 2020 and another 2021. The council president will receive an extra $300 per month, a $100 increase.

Now, the plan goes to the city clerk and attorney for approval.

Edmonds council positions, which are part time, haven’t seen a raise since 2013, when the salary went from $7,200 to $12,000 plus benefits worth about $9,000. Since then, the mayor’s pay has increased by about $10,000 to $125,935.

The salary bump, effective Jan. 1, comes as residents prepare to select a new mayor. Councilmen Neil Tibbott and Mike Nelson both are running to fill the position being vacated by Mayor Dave Earling, who decided not to seek a third term.

Four council positions are also up for grabs. Councilwoman Diane Buckshnis is the only incumbent, with Nelson, Tibbott and Councilwoman Kristiana Johnson, who also ran for mayor but lost in the August primary, leaving their seats.

“I think it heightens people’s insight,” commission Chair Jay Grant said. “They’re probably looking at these races more than normal.”

He said the commission looked at neighboring governments’ pay scales, Edmonds employees’ salaries and the cost of living.

“Bottom line, I think trying not to stray too far from comparative analysis, we wanted to make sure they were reasonably accommodated for what they’re doing,” Grant said. “A lot of cities are all over the board.”

Additionally, the commission’s plan asks the city to consider implementing job descriptions for council positions, like Lynnwood recently did.

In Everett, the city’s salary commission voted in April to give slight raises to its mayor, council members and municipal judges. One commissioner voted against the proposal because the city lacks firm job descriptions for council members and the mayor.

Council members will make about $30,000 a year. The mayor’s annual salary was set at about $190,000.

Additionally, the wages are fixed to a regional consumer price index, a tool used to help calculate the average cost of living by measuring the average price a person pays for certain goods and services like groceries, health care and transportation. If the index increases, council members and the mayor can receive a 2.5 percent salary increase.

Everett’s raises will start Jan. 1.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; jthompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

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