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Commission mulls Council salary hike

The citizens’ commission on city council salaries will decide next week if Bremerton City Council members will receive a 67 percent pay increase.

On Thursday, June 16, the commission will have its final public hearing to determine if the annual salaries will go from $9,000 to $15,000. The three-person group also is expected to vote on the proposal.

They also will have a public hearing on a second proposal which would limit the annual salary increase to the cost of living increase — about 2.5 percent. That proposal, made by commissioner Doug Wakefield, came late in a meeting Monday, June 6 at the Norm Dicks Government Center.

Based on testimony heard at that meeting the larger increase didn’t sit well with constituents.

“What is the nature of being elected to office? Is it service or is it a career,” asked Bremerton resident Roy Runyon.

He called the proposed pay raise “out of line,” and encouraged the commission to consider increasing salaries by the average pay increase of the city’s citizens.

The original proposal was presented by commission chairman and former City Councilman Jim Reed. He believes the current salary, about $750 a month is not adequate for the amount of time Council members invest.

As part of the process, Council members were asked to log their hours.

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