Chapter 2.118


2.118.010    Membership, appointment, compensation, term.

2.118.020    Definitions.

2.118.030    Vacancies.

2.118.040    Removal.

2.118.050    Duties.

2.118.060    Meetings, operations and expenses.

2.118.070    Referendum.

2.118.010 Membership, appointment, compensation, term.

(1) There is created a salary commission for the city of Washougal. The commission shall consist of five members who are residents and registered voters of the city, to be appointed by the mayor with the approval of the city council and who shall meet the eligibility requirements of RCW 35.21.015.

(2) A member of the commission shall serve for a four-year term without compensation. The initial membership shall be appointed for staggered terms with one member serving a two-year term, two members serving three-year terms and two members serving four-year terms. (Ord. 1937 § 1 (Exh. A), 2021; Ord. 1553 § 1, 2006)

2.118.020 Definitions.

(1) “Salary” or “salaries,” as used in this chapter, means a total cost of compensation provided to any elected official, specifically including any fixed compensation paid periodically for work or services and the total cost of any medical or other benefits provided.

(2) This definition expressly excludes any expenses paid or reimbursed on behalf of any elected official in compliance with city council policy and procedure for travel and business expense reimbursements. (Ord. 1616 § 1, 2008; Ord. 1553 § 1, 2006)

2.118.030 Vacancies.

In the event of a vacancy in office of commissioner, the mayor shall appoint, subject to approval of the city council, a person to serve the unexpired portion of the term of the expired position. (Ord. 1553 § 1, 2006)

2.118.040 Removal.

Commission members may only be removed during their terms of office for cause of incapacity, incompetency, neglect of duty, malfeasance in office, or for a disqualifying change in residence or voter status. (Ord. 1553 § 1, 2006)

2.118.050 Duties.

(1) The commission shall have the duty to review the salaries paid by the city to each elected city official. If after such review the commission determines that the salary paid to any elected city official should be increased or decreased, the commission shall file a written salary schedule with the city clerk indicating the increase or decrease in salary.

(2) Any increase or decrease in salary established by the commission shall become effective and incorporated in the city budget without further action of the city council or the commission.

(3) A new schedule shall be timed to be effective simultaneously and equally to all city council members. The commission shall file its initial schedule for elected city officials no later than November 1, 2006. The commission shall file subsequent schedules on a yearly basis following the effective date of the ordinance codified in this subsection. Each schedule shall be prepared in a form approved by the city attorney. The signature of the commission chair shall be affixed to each schedule submitted to the city clerk. The commission chair shall certify in writing that the schedule has been adopted in compliance with: (a) the rules and procedures, if any, of the commission; (b) the provisions of this chapter; and (c) other applicable laws including the State Constitution.

(4) The decision to raise or lower salaries shall be by the decision of the majority of the commission.

(5) Salary increases established by the commission shall be effective as to all city-elected officials regardless of their terms of office and shall take effect January 1st of the following year.

(6) Salary decreases established by the commission shall become effective as to an incumbent city-elected official at the commencement of their next subsequent term of office. (Ord. 1620 § 1, 2008; Ord. 1616 § 1, 2008; Ord. 1553 § 1, 2006)

2.118.060 Meetings, operations and expenses.

The meetings and operations of the commission shall be conducted as follows:

(1) All meetings, actions, hearings, and business of the salary commission shall be subject to the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 42.30 RCW, and the Public Records Act. Prior to filing of any salary schedule:

(a) The commission shall first develop a proposed schedule; then

(b) Publish notices in the same manner as the city council agendas; and

(c) Hold at least one public hearing and take testimony thereon, within one month immediately proceeding the filing of the salary schedule.

(2) Operations. Except as provided hereinafter, the salary commission shall be solely responsible for its own organization, operation and action, and shall receive the fullest cooperation of all elected and appointed city officials and employees, departments and agencies of the city of Washougal. Staff support shall be provided as determined in the city budget and by the mayor. The members of the commission shall select a chair from among their number. (Ord. 1553 § 1, 2006)

2.118.070 Referendum.

Any salary increase or decrease established by the commission pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to referendum petition by the voters of the city, in the same manner as a city ordinance, by filing of a referendum petition with the city clerk within 30 days after filing of a salary schedule by the commission. In the event of filing of a valid referendum petition, the salary increase or decrease shall not go into effect until approved by a vote of the people. Referendum measures under this section shall be submitted to the voters of the city at the next following general or municipal election occurring 30 days or more after a petition is filed, and shall otherwise be governed by the provision of the State Constitution and the laws generally applicable to referendum measures. (Ord. 1553 § 1, 2006)