Bremerton City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday evening adopting a $7,000 raise for Mayor Greg Wheeler. This is the first time the salary for the city’s top government official has been changed since 2012.
Seven years ago, council voted to decrease Mayor Patty Lent’s salary from $122,424 to $107,000, which is the amount current mayor Greg Wheeler has been making. Council President Eric Younger brought up the issue at a recent council study session, citing the need to address a matter that has been long overdue. He also said Wheeler never requested the raise and it has nothing to do with his current performance.
“It’s been seven years and we just went through all the union contracts,” Younger said. “Everybody’s salary has been looked at except for one person – and that’s the mayor.”
To arrive on the $114,000 figure, Younger said he chose three cities (Mount Vernon, Edmonds, and Lynnwood) whose populations were in the ballpark of Bremerton’s 42,080. Younger then took the mayoral salaries of those three cities, added them up and divided by three to get the $114,000 figure.
“I ran it by the rest of the council in study session and everybody was good with $114,000,” he said.
The ordinance also requires the council to review the mayor’s salary every four years going forward, according to Younger. Wheeler’s raise will become effective Jan. 1, 2020, in accordance with the city’s budgeting process.