Spokane Mayor David Condon said today he’ll decline a planned $7,000-a-year salary increase as a show of support for a community discussion about the cost of city government.
Condon’s salary is set to climb to nearly $180,000 a year in 2015, which sparked a community uproar when the proposed budget for next year was unveiled and prompted the City Council to declare the spending plan dead on arrival.
Councilman Mike Fagan, a Condon ally, is arranging a public forum on Nov. 14 at 10 a.m. in the City Council Briefing Center to address city wages. Condon said in prepared remarks that he supports the discussion and that even though he’s turning down the raise, which would leave his pay at about $172,500 a year, he still intends to honor a pledge to donate $1,000 from his current salary to each of the remaining upcoming multicultural heritage months.
Under the city charter, the mayor’s pay must be at least equal to the highest-paid city worker, which next year will be Police Chief Frank Straub, who the mayor proposes giving an $8,500 raise that bumps his annual pay to $179,484.
In recent history, the highest-paid city worker beside the city administrator has been Fire Chief Bobby Williams, whose $172,573 salary was matched by the mayor this year.
The planned raise would have put Condon’s pay just below the $182,000 paid to the Seattle mayor.
According to the city, the mayor’s proposed 2015 budget includes $1.7 million in contractual wage increases. Cost of living increases resulting from labor agreements account for approximately $1 million of that total. Contractual step and longevity increases make up the balance.
Proposed increases to the salaries of the mayor, council president, City Council members, police chief and fire chief are cost of living increases that are included in the spending plan.
Voters approved an amendment to the City Charter in August 2011 setting the mayor’s salary equivalent to the highest paid City employee. The mayor’s office noted that the city’s Salary Review Commission recommended a raise for City Council members last spring.
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