News

Council and mayor salaries going up

By PHILIP PALERMO

The Mirror

The city's Independent Salary Commission has recommended bumps in pay for Federal Way City Council members and the mayor, and the next city manager apparently will make more than the last one.

According to the commission-set 2006 salary schedule, the mayor would receive an increase of $100 per month, bringing the monthly salary to $1,475.

Council members would see their monthly salary increase by $50 to a total of $1,125 each month.

The city's human resources manager, Mary McDougal, said the Salary Commission meets on even-numbered years to discuss salaries of the council and mayor.

The commission, she said, is tasked with setting salaries that aren't significantly lower than those of comparable cities, such as Bellevue or Vancouver. That is tempered, she said, with an accountability to taxpayers by offering salaries that aren't significantly greater, either.

Documents from the commission's March 7 meeting state Bellevue's council members are paid $1,650 each month. With various benefits, total compensation rises to $3,012 per month. In Vancouver, council members are paid $1,260 each, with benefits bringing their monthly compensation to $2,122.

With monthly benefits, Federal Way's council members currently receive $1,450 in total compensation. The mayor currently receives $1,375 in monthly salary and $1,750 in total monthly compensation.

The new salaries are expected to go into effect July 1.

Citizens who want to challenge the salary increase have until April 30 to file a referendum petition with the city. A valid petition would mean the salary increase would go before voters at a referendum election.

McDougal noted the commission's previous salary schedules haven't been challenged.

The council selects one of its members to serve in the additional, largely ceremonial capacity of mayor. Mike Park is the current mayor.

Meanwhile, the City Council met Tuesday to discuss the salary range for a new city manager. The city is preparing to advertise the position by March 30.

Waters-Oldani Executive Recruitment Inc. has been hired to handle the search for a manager. The firm recommended advertising a starting annual salary of $125,000 to $150,000, a range the council approved.

Before resigning at the end of last year, David Moseley's salary as city manager was $117,605, including $9,973 in performance pay.

Waters-Oldani based its recommendation on the salaries of city managers in comparable cities in Washington, Illinois, Minnesota and Texas.

While council members agreed on the salary range, several recommended examining the structure of the city manager contract, as well.

Councilwoman Linda Kochmar suggested considering city manager contracts that aren't open-ended.

Councilman Jim Ferrell questioned the performance-pay incentives available for city employees.

"I say we give our city manager a salary and do the job," he said.

Moseley is being replaced on an interim basis by assistant city manager Derek Matheson.

Staff writer Philip Palermo: 925-5565, ppalermo@fedwaymirror.com

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