Poulsbo City Council: include raises for mayor and judge in 2019 — 2020 budgeting process

POULSBO — Poulsbo City Council voted unanimously to approve the submission of salary increases for Mayor Becky Erickson and Municipal Judge Jeffrey Tolman for consideration in the 2019 — 2020 city budget.

The annual salary for the mayor would increase from $76,172 to $95,046 and the judge’s salary would see an increase from $59,017 to $75,373.

During the May 16 meeting, Council Member Ken Thomas drove home the point that the council’s approval of the motion does not guarantee that the salary increases will take effect in 2019. He explained that the purpose of the motion was to ensure that the raises would be a part of the budgeting process.

“This motion, what it does in effect is it lays it out so that it is now in the numbers and in the figures that are presented to the city council in the budget,” Thomas said. “It would go through the full budget process just like all the other salaries of the department heads in the city.”

If the salary increases are approved by council during the 2019 — 2020 budgeting process, Erickson and Tolman’s paychecks would see an increase Jan. 1, 2019.

Council member David Musgrove initially raised concern that the salary increases might be getting passed before supplemental information he had requested was provided to the council following an April 25 salary workshop.

“We had requested additional information to make a decision, which we have not yet received or discussed. So all of that will come forward as we move forward with this approval?” Musgrove asked.

At the meeting, Erickson contested Musgrove’s assertion that requests for additional information had gone unanswered.

“I have not had an email or any kind of request for information from this council after the council committee,” Erickson said.

After Council Member Jeff McGinty assured Musgrove that there would be time to ask more questions during the budgeting process, the mayor suggested if any members of the council wished to request or provide any additional information, that they do so via email or in person during her open office hours.

“I am open every Saturday morning, 9 until noon, and you can come talk to me,” she said.

Clarifying his concern, Musgrove said: “I’m not looking on one side or the other of the issue, I’m simply looking for clarification on how we’re moving forward when we don’t normally take this type of an action prior to a budget cycle.”

After the council’s unanimous approval of the motion at the meeting, the mayor offered a cryptic quip.

“To my husband out there, check and mate.”

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