Chapter 2.48


2.48.010    Salary commission may be created.

2.48.020    Membership.

2.48.030    Powers.

2.48.040    Process.

2.48.050    Donation of council compensation.

2.48.060    Referendum.

2.48.070    Meetings to be open.

*Prior legislation: Ords. 94-024, 2009-019, 2009-036, 2014-010, 2014-014 and 2021-029.

2.48.010 Salary commission may be created.

By a majority vote of the council, a salary commission consistent with RCW 35.21.015 may be created on an as-needed basis to review the salaries of individual councilors, including the offices of mayor and deputy mayor. (Ord. 2022-002 § 1 (Exh. A))

2.48.020 Membership.

A. The salary commission will have three members, who will be appointed by the mayor, with approval of the council, for a maximum term of two years. All members must reside within the city limits for a minimum of six months before being appointed to the commission and for the duration of their appointed term.

B. A member of the commission must serve until the commission completes its salary review and files a written salary schedule with the city clerk; or the commission issues a final determination that no salary adjustment is appropriate.

C. No member may be appointed to more than two terms on the salary commission.

D. Members may be removed during their terms for cause of incapacity, incompetence, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office or for a disqualifying change of residence.

E. No officer, official, or employee of the city or any of their immediate family members may serve as a member of the salary commission. For purposes of this section, “immediate family member” means the parents, spouse, siblings, children, or dependent relatives of an officer, official, or employee of the city, whether or not living in the household of the officer, official, or employee.

F. A member of the commission may not be appointed to another city committee, board, or commission, except for specialized committees or task forces of limited duration.

G. Members serve without compensation. (Ord. 2022-002 § 1 (Exh. A))

2.48.030 Powers.

A. The salary commission, if created in accordance with SMC 2.48.010 and 2.48.020, will review and set the salaries for elected officials of the city in the form of a written salary schedule. The commission must complete its review within 120 calendar days of the first meeting of the commission. The city council may approve a request from the commission for an extension of the 120-day review period for good cause.

B. Beginning in 2022, a salary commission will be appointed and will begin a new salary review as provided herein. Every four years thereafter, or as established by the city council, a new salary commission may be appointed to perform a new salary review in accordance with this chapter.

C. If there is any change in the salary, the commission will file the written salary schedule with the city clerk and it becomes effective and incorporated into the city budget without further action of the city council or salary commission.

D. Salary increases established by the commission are effective as to incumbent city elected officials, regardless of their terms in office, subject to the provisions of SMC 2.48.060.

E. Salary decreases established by the commission become effective as to incumbent city elected officials at the beginning of their next subsequent terms of office.

F. If, after review, the commission determines that the salary paid to any elected city official should not be increased or decreased, then the commission will file a written determination with the city clerk indicating that no salary adjustment is appropriate.

G. Commission action fixing the salaries of elected officials of the city pursuant to this chapter supersedes any provision of any other city ordinance related to such salaries.

H. The commission automatically dissolves after the completion of salary review and the filing of salary changes with the city clerk.

I. If no commission is currently constituted, the council may set salaries by ordinance consistent with RCW 35A.12.070. (Ord. 2022-002 § 1 (Exh. A))

2.48.040 Process.

A. The commission, with the support from city staff, will base their decision on appropriate city council member compensation derived from review of other council-manager cities in the region and those council-manager cities of comparable size and economic conditions located outside of the I-5 corridor.

B. The city council member elected by the full council to serve as mayor will be compensated at a monthly rate in an amount approved by the salary commission for that position.

C. The city council member elected by the full council to serve as deputy mayor will be compensated at monthly rate that is 80 percent of the amount of the mayor’s compensation. (Ord. 2022-002 § 1 (Exh. A))

2.48.050 Donation of council compensation.

Any council member may donate all or a portion of their compensation during their term of office in accordance with established city policy. (Ord. 2022-002 § 1 (Exh. A))

2.48.060 Referendum.

A. Salary increases and decreases set by the commission are subject to referendum petition by the people of the city in the same manner as a city ordinance upon filing of such petition with the city clerk within 30 calendar days after filing of the salary schedule. If the filing of a valid referendum petition occurs, the salary increase or decrease will not go into effect until approved by vote of the people.

B. Referendum measures under this section will be submitted to the voters of the city at the next following general or municipal election occurring 30 calendar days or more after the petition is filed and are otherwise governed by the provisions of the general laws applicable to referendum measures. (Ord. 2022-002 § 1 (Exh. A))

2.48.070 Meetings to be open.

The proceedings and actions of the salary commission will be undertaken in compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 42.30 RCW, as if the commission was a “governing body” as defined in that Act; however, notice of all salary commission meetings will be issued pursuant to RCW 42.30.080, and the salary commission may not meet in executive session. (Ord. 2022-002 § 1 (Exh. A))