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Council pay hike halved

While a proposal to raise Bremerton City Council salaries by 67 percent is dead in the water, salary commission members still hope a 33.5 percent raise will float. They will also fold in the second public hearing for a proposed cost of living raise at about 2.5 percent.

Two public hearings are scheduled this week to beat a July 1 deadline. Two public hearings are required for each salary increase proposal on the table.

If an agreement cannot be reached among the commission’s three members, then no salary increase is given.

Commission Chairman Jim Reed, a former City Councilman, originally suggested Council salaries be increased from $9,000 to $15,000 a year. He believes Council members are not adequately paid for the hours they serve.

“I would agree with (the 2.5 percent cost of living increase) if the base salary was anywhere near the time and effort put in,” Reed said following the failure of his plan.

After a 10-minute recess, Reed amended his plan to half the original. If approved, Council members would make about $12,000 a year with the president making an additional $1,800.

About a dozen people including four former councilmen opposed Reed’s pay hike

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