Letters to the Editor

Council raises long overdue

Putting the City Council and mayor’s new salaries into perspective (May 24, “Council getting raises whether wanted or not”), if they only work 20 hours a week, hourly wages amount to slightly more than $12 for council members and $15 for the mayor. Whatever our opinions may be about individual elected officials, the raises are warranted and long overdue. Small compensation for living their personal lives in a fish bowl while serving as the board of directors in the only corporation everyone in the city owns shares in. 

The Federal Way School Board’s pitiful salaries at about $400 a month should be reviewed next.

At this time, it may be politically unpopular to increase elected officials’ salaries while budgets are being cut and unemployment is high. But it is poor public policy to set salaries so low that only financially independent individuals can afford to run and serve. No one will get rich serving in one of these positions, but neither should they be penalized. Undoubtedly, their families and employers also pay a price well above the public’s cost.

I encourage council members to avoid denouncing these raises. Yes, it’s an election year, but try refraining from grandstanding, anyway. You should be focused on the serious matters facing Federal Way and not be drawn offsides by something you can’t control. Some public criticism is inevitable and will soon be forgotten. At the ballot box, voters should gauge overall performance.

Joe Ganem III

Federal Way

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