01/12/2007: "$32K For Part Time Work??"
To the Editor:
Now I don't know how many of you were shocked to see the $32,000 salaries that the new four part time council members are getting.
The previous two commissioners, who are now council members, are still getting their $67,000 per year. Anyway, I was shocked because I served as a freeholder in an effort to decrease the cost of county government and increase its efficiency. The charter mandated a county manager, whom I assumed would be paid somewhere around $100,000. In so doing we stripped the commissioners/council of
all the day to day administrative duties and of getting involved with land-use legal matters. In other words, their job was to legislate. So now we have six council members doing 60% less work and, in effect, costing the County about 100% more.
Whatcom County has a constituency of a little over 150,000 people. Last year the seven part time council members were getting $18,000 per year. We only have a constituency of 17,000. You can surely do the math but it seems to me we should address this situation. I must comment that the salaries were not set by all the sitting council members, but the new council can certainly use their office to change things--- I hope.
Olga. Orcas Island