City managers in Kennewick and Richland will be able to take home a bit more money next year after the city councils approved raises Tuesday.
The Kennewick council approved a 5 percent raise for City Manager Marie Mosley at its Tuesday meeting.
The increase will take Mosley’s 2016 salary to just more than $175,000, up from $167,000 this year.
Mosley earned the raise based on meeting goals set in the city’s biennial strategic plan, Mayor Steve Young said. The increase will take her from the bottom 18.6 percent of a group of comparable cities to the 48 percent range, which Young called “more competitive.”
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Jim Wade of Kennewick criticized a possible raise during the public comment portion of the meeting. He said many people are forced to live without raises on Social Security and criticized comparing the city manager’s salary to those in other cities.
“To me, it’s like somebody next door trying to keep up with the Joneses,” Wade said. “I don’t know how anybody who makes $100,000 a year who can’t live off that.”
Councilman John Trumbo cast the only vote against the raise in the 5-1 decision (Councilman Greg Jones left the meeting before the vote because of a personal matter). Trumbo said Mosley has done a good job, but said raises should not exceed the 1.8 percent annual revenue increases the city has seen recently.
The Richland City Council approved a 3 percent raise, along with a $7,500 incentive bonus for City Manager Cindy Reents at its Tuesday meeting, Mayor David Rose said.
Considering the challenges of the city manager’s job, Rose said he wished the council could have given a larger increase.
“I’d hate to be in the position of a city manager,” he said before the vote. “It’s kind of like putting piglets in a gunny sack. Every time you put one in, another pops out.”
The Pasco City Council is expected to review City Manager Dave Zabell in January, said Jon Funfar, the city’s communication manager.
Also Tuesday, the Kennewick council:
Voted to name a new 2.4-mile road between the Five Corners roundabout in west Kennewick and Sherman Street in Southridge “Bob Olson Parkway.” The announcement, which Young became too emotional to make, came at the end of a ceremony to honor the 28-year councilman. Olson was attending his last meeting on the council after losing his re-election bid in November. He was praised by city, county and port officials for his work on numerous transportation boards. The meeting was attended by officials from Richland and Pasco.
“If you don’t believe all the transportation things this guy did, you need to sit in those meetings and see how he fought for Kennewick,” Port of Kennewick Commissioner Skip Novakovich said.
Construction on the road is expected to start in 2016.
Named Robert Rettig to the Planning Commission, David Robertson to the Historic Preservation Commission and Veronica Griffith to the Kennewick Housing Authority board. Young defended the city’s use of an interview committee to determine board nominees after Trumbo questioned why he wasn’t given information about them sooner.
The system works better than having applicants interview before the full council, Young said.
“If I were one of those individuals, I’d tell us to get bent; I don’t have time to go through that process,” Young said. “We’re pretty excited just to have people come apply for these positions.”