Washougal commission OKs salary bumps for mayor, councilors

New rates go into effect Jan. 1, 2018

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Incoming Washougal Mayor Molly Coston and new City Council member Julie Russell, along with incumbent council members will receive salary increases in January 2018.

The Washougal Salary Commission has approved a pay hike to $2,350 per month for the mayor and $575 monthly for each city council member. That is an increase of $125 per month for the mayor and $25 for each councilor.

Prior to voting for the increase during their Nov. 15 meeting, the Salary Commission reviewed Washougal’s 10-year history of salaries for the mayors and council members. Through the past decade, salary increases have varied from zero to 5.5 percent. In 2011, the mayor and councilors received an 11 percent pay cut.

The salary commission, in 2016, approved increases of $125 for the mayor and $25, per month, for the council members.

Washougal Human Resource Director Jeanette Cefalo said the new rates for 2018 reflect a conservative approach in looking at mayor and council member salaries in comparable cities in Washington state.

Those cities, with similar size populations, included Lynden (13,620), Arlington (18,690), Aberdeen (16,740), Ferndale (13,470) and Monroe (18,350). Washougal’s population is 15,760.

Of those cities, the average monthly mayor’s salary is $2,980, and the average council member salary is $616.

They also compared cities with similar general fund amounts and number of city employees.

The Washougal Salary Commission includes Sarah Ruddell, Rachel Cooper, Larry White and Lori Rose.