Tacoma city manager one of highest paid public officials in WA

May 12, 2023, 10:54 AM | Updated: 1:12 pm

tacoma city leaders...

A view of downtown Tacoma from the Glass Museum. (Photo: Getty Images)

(Photo: Getty Images)

Tacoma City Manager Elizabeth Pauli now makes more than $309,000 in 2023, after the Tacoma City Council approved her reappointment to the position Tuesday, May 9.

This is Pauli’s second raise in less than a year at an increase of 7.5%. The city manager can make up to $376,591.

Pauli is the first woman to serve as city manager in Tacoma and has been in the position since 2017. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average raise in America is 5.1%.

The average city manager in Washington state makes approximately $130,000 to $140,000 a year.

This makes Pauli one of the highest-paid public officials in the state, with Tacoma council members making $49,587 a year, and the Mayor of Tacoma having an annual salary of $111,613.

The role of the city manager is to work with the mayor, city council, and city departments to implement city policies. City managers aren’t elected positions but instead are appointed by the city council, and the position doesn’t have a term limit.

Washington legislators to receive 4-7% raises in 2023

The Tacoma City Council approved the new compensation plan for city leaders on Dec. 13.

“During my lifetime, there haven’t been a lot of female leaders in cities, but a lot of my lifetime, women have been asked to take on more and more responsibility but not with any equal pay,” Tacoma Deputy Mayor Catherine Ushkasaid. “This is making sure that the women that lead our organizations are getting equal pay as anybody else in the position.”

One official making more than Pauli is the Tacoma Public Utilities Director Jackie Flowers, who will make $409,677 in 2023, with a raise of 5.6% over 2022.

“We went out to the market to see if we’re paying all of our employees if we’re paying them the right amount of money based on their job classification,” Mayor Victoria Woodards told The News Tribune. “In my opinion, as we look out to both the public sector and the private sector, people are being poached and moved all the time, and we always need to make sure as a city that we’re paying competitively with other cities.”

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story said that Tacoma City Manager Elizabeth Pauli was the highest paid public official in Washington state. Pauli is not the highest paid public official in Washington, as Tacoma Public Utilities Director Jackie Flowers is paid more. We regret the error.

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Tacoma city manager one of highest paid public officials in WA