City of Tacoma Salary Commission Finally Meets

Last November, Tacoma voters approved creating a Citizen Salary Commission.

Salary Comm election results 2014

Jonny-on-the-spot County Auditor Julie Anderson made the random selection of five commissioners last February.

Then the wait began.

March, the Mayor does not appoint the two commissioners as required by the charter amendment.

April, the Mayor does not appoint anyone.

May, still no appointments by the mayor and the commissioners cannot meet until the final two are appointed.

June, no one appointed by the mayor.

July, the mayor appoints the two final commissioners with a deadline of Sept. 1 for the commissioners to make their recommendation to the city council, which completes the job mandated by the voter approved charter amendment for this year.

Washington state and Pierce County each have a Citizen Salary Commission and they generally take about six months to do their work making recommendations for salaries for their respective jurisdictions. Due to circumstances beyond the Tacoma volunteer commissioners, they will have to complete their task, described by one commissioner as “political” in less than 30 days.

The first meeting of the volunteer Salary Commissioners commenced this evening at 6:00 p.m.

Each Tuesday in August at 6:00 p.m., the commissioners will be meeting to discuss their recommendations for salaries for the mayor and council members.

The meeting is at 733 Market St. in room 12 – the public is welcome, but the room is small and there is only one seat available for the public to sit at in the rear of the room. Public Comment was moved to the beginning of the agenda, so anyone wishing to attend and make a comment should be early as to ensure not missing your opportunity for a comment limited to 3 minutes. Meetings are limited to 90 minutes, as per a vote of the commissioners. Leave it to volunteer citizens to come prepared to get business done in a timely fashion. Given the volumes of information commisioners requested tonight, the city staff and the volunteers will have quite a bit of home work to do before next week’s meeting.

Commissioners must factor in the automatic pay raise of 2.75% the council receives each January in their deliberations since an ordinance is still in place providing for that annual increase.

Current Membership

District 1 – Joseph Zawacki

District 2 – Karen Robinson

District 3 – Terry Mensonides – elected chair tonight

District 4 – Robert Anderson

District 5 – Ronald Malm – elected vice chair

Mayor’s appointments

Human Resources Management – Richard Wilkinson

Legal Profession –  Dianne Conway

Link to City of Tacoma Salary Commission