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12 Mukilteo staffers to get pay raises

 

Last updated 11/9/2016 at Noon



A dozen non-union city employees will receive a total of $30,000 in raises next year.

The higher salaries were included in the 2017 budget the Mukilteo City Council approved on Nov. 7 with a 5-1 vote.

While the mayor’s preliminary budget included a 1 percent increase in property taxes, the budget the council passed does not.

“Our staff does a fantastic job of running the city, and they deserve a pay raise, but we need to do it by not raising taxes,” Councilmember Scott Whelpley said. “Enough is enough. We need to be good stewards to our taxpayers.”

All of the pay increases – which awards an average of $2,500 more per employee – are based on the median of salaries offered for the positions in comparable cities. The last time non-union employee salaries were raised to the median was in 2007.

“We need to keep the ones (employees) that we can and give us a fighting chance that they’ll stay,” Councilmember Randy Lord said. “I do want to give us a fighting chance to keep our staff.”

With the budget’s passage, the following positions will receive salary bumps next year: police chief, fire chief, finance director, planning director, public works director, recreation and cultural services director, assistant fire chief, police commander, assistant city engineer, human resources manager, public works superintendent and city clerk.

Staff had recommended that the management services director and policy analyst also receive raises, but several councilmembers disagreed, saying that the positions didn’t need a raise.

“There were political considerations influencing the feedback we had heard from council about the two positions,” Mayor Jennifer Gregerson said. “We decided to just offer that other employees receive the adjustment so that the waters were not muddied by these other issues.”

Human Resources Manager Julie Good said the city’s goal of increasing these salaries is to improve candidate recruitment, retain better employees, reduce turnover rates and improve employee morale.

In the last two years, Good said, 75 percent of employees who left the city noted that they had found a higher paying position.

“In some cases, this salary increase is accompanied by a decrease in responsibility,” she said.

The raises will cost the city a total of $30,000 in 2017 and may increase by an average of $45,000 each year for the next four years.

There are potential cost increases in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 because the 12 employees may qualify to receive additional raises or “step increases” based on their work performance.

The recreation and cultural services director will receive the largest salary bump with 6 percent in 2017, followed by the city clerk with 5 percent, the assistant city engineer with 4 percent, the human resource manager and public works superintendent with 3 percent and the police chief, fire chief, finance director, planning director, assistant fire chief and police commander with 1 percent.

The public works director will get the smallest raise at less than 1 percent. That position was left open with Rob McGaughey’s termination on Oct. 12.

The management services director would have been up for a 10 percent raise; the policy analyst a 5 percent raise.

While most of the salary bumps were approved Nov. 7 with the passage of the budget, councilmembers voted 6-1 to increase the police chief’s salary in September.

The council approved the new police chief salary sooner because that position was left open when Chuck Macklin resigned on Sept. 15. The city is searching for Macklin’s replacement.

Although next year’s budget doesn’t include a 1 percent property tax increase, it does increase business license fees. See the approved 2017 budget soon at http://www.mukilteo.wa.gov.

 

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