What's a council member worth?


Staff writer

The Federal Way City Council earlier this month approved the creation of an independent salary commission to review the salaries set for council members and the mayor and make adjustments as it sees fit.

Now Mayor Jeanne Burbidge is accepting applications from city residents interested in serving on the commission, which ultimately will have five members appointed by the mayor and approved by the council.

Commission members will serve unpaid four-year terms, except for the first round of appointees, which will serve staggered terms of one to four years.

They will meet in April and May in 2003 and 2004 and then every even-numbered year after that to raise or lower salaries. Recommendations must be made by May 31 of each review session.

State law grants the commissions’ recommendations the authority of law without mayoral or council approval, but they can be overturned by voter referendum.

Federal Way council members currently make $750 a month and the mayor, appointed from the council, makes $900. The city’s population is 83,850, according to Association of Washington Cities (AWC) 2002 data.

In Kent, which has a population of 84,850, the mayor, who is elected to a full-time, four-year term, makes $6,667 a month. Council members make $950 a month, according to the AWC.

In Yakima, which has a population of 79,120, the mayor makes $1,044 a month and council members make $696 a month.

Salary commission members must be U.S. citizens and must have resided in Federal Way for one year prior to appointment. They may not be city officials, city employees or immediate family members of city employees.

Applicants may send a resumé and cover letter to the city clerk at P.O. Box 9718, Federal Way, WA 98063, or e-mail them to

More information is available at 661-4070.

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