Salary commission OKs raise for Camas mayor, councilors

The Camas Salary Commission agreed this week to give Camas Mayor Barry McDonnell and members of the Camas City Council a 2-percent cost of living increase in 2021.

At a Commission meeting held Thursday, Nov. 5, commissioners said they felt the 2-percent raise, which matches that approved by city leaders for non-represented Camas city employees, was fair.

“I feel like we went through the points pretty well at our last meeting,” said Sheila Schmid, the four-person committee’s newest member, on Thursday.

Commission Chair Matthew McBride, and commission members John Nohr and Matt Ransom agreed.

The Salary Commission approved a 2.5-percent stipend increase for the mayor and council members in 2020.

The 2-percent increase means McDonnell will earn a monthly stipend of $2,501 in 2021, while council members will earn monthly stipends of $853 each.

In 2019, the stipends given to the Camas mayor and council members were the second-highest in Clark County. Only Vancouver — a city with 189,700 residents compared to Camas’ 25,140 — awarded higher monthly stipends to its mayor ($2,488) and councilors ($1,947).

Camas is one of three cities in Clark County, including La Center and Yacolt — and the only Clark County city with a population over 4,000 — that still maintains a “strong mayor” (mayor/council) form of government. Washougal, which moved to a “strong council” form of government in 2019 and hired a city manager to oversee the daily business of the city, pays its council members a $600 monthly stipend.