Pay cuts proposed for Washougal mayor, council

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The salaries of future mayors and City Council members could be the latest numbers to be reduced in Washougal.

The city’s Salary Commission has recommended the mayor’s salary be reduced from $2,000 a month to $1,800. The recommendation for council members is a reduction from $500 a month to $450.

Salary Commission Chairman Chuck Carpenter said the commission looked at data – such as budget, assessed valuation and size of staff – from Washington cities of a similar size, in order to determine salary levels in Washougal.

“In looking at the data, we found that to be comparable we would need to reduce the salary paid to our elected officials,” he said. “In view of the current economy and the austere budget that the city is facing, we felt that it would be proper to not only meet the ‘averages’ of the other cities, but to tighten the belt when it comes to elected official salaries.”

The ordinance that created the commission four years ago mandates that any salary reductions become effective after the completion of city leaders’ current terms of office.

A public hearing regarding the proposed decreases is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m., in the council chambers at City Hall, 1701 “C” St. Written comments can be submitted to City Clerk Jennifer Forsberg, at City Hall, prior to the start of the public hearing.

In addition to Carpenter, the Salary Commission includes Doug Anderson, Kevin Krecklow, Del Brown and Sarah Ruddell. On Nov. 15, the Washougal City Council approved a zero percent increase for the salary schedule of department heads and a suspension of step or longevity increases for all non-represented city employees for 2011.

For more information about the Salary Commission public hearing, call City Hall at 835-8501.