Redmond City Council could get nearly six-figure pay raise

May 25, 2023, 9:26 AM | Updated: 10:19 am

redmond salary commission...

Redmond Mayor Angela Birney disbanded a citizens’ salary commission after it proposed an increase to a six-figure salary for the part-time position, and now a new commission will take its place. (Photo from KIRO 7)

(Photo from KIRO 7)

Redmond’s City Council could be in for a huge payday if a salary commission gets its way.

Some people are already crying foul.

The city of Redmond Salary Commission is considering raising the salaries of city councilmembers to $115,000 a year.

That is six times their current salary for a part-time job.

The councilmembers make just under $19,000 a year now. So, this would be a big raise — and it would come out of taxpayer money.

So, KIRO 7 went to the Redmond Town Center to find out what those who live and work there think.

Keri Crossley opened her ‘Mac and Mabel’ home goods store at the Redmond Town Center in 2019.

She says the only way to make the numbers work is to pay her part-time employees $18 an hour.

“And we know for sure that it’s not a living wage,” Crossley said.

But the seven members of the Redmond City council earn $72 less than that each year.

“Which was shocking to me,” Crossley said. “‘Cause we know we are not giving them what they deserve, because they’re honestly great.”

Now the Redmond Salary Commission is trying to decide just how big a raise to give the city’s part-time council members.

“Whatever decision we end up coming to,” said Commissioner Othman Erekaini, “it needs to be something that allows someone to live in this very high-cost living area and serve and represent the people.”

“To be fair,” said Dr. Kara Simon, commissioner, “a lot of people do survive in this city on less than even half this. So, what is the best way to do this?”

The city council’s salaries have gradually risen to nearly $19,000 dollars a year. But the commission is considering a big bump in pay with most of the six-member panel coalescing around $115,000 a year, more than six times what the councilmembers currently earn.

“There are many underfunded programs,” said Yelena Isakova.

This longtime Redmond resident says that money could be better spent elsewhere.

“Of course, we want to have a well-qualified board,” Isakova said. “But at the same time it has to be a well-balanced decision, right?”

The Salary Commission chair would not talk on camera. But Karen Tennyson says she is not in favor of a $115,000 salary, mostly because the councilmembers work part-time.

This is not a done deal yet. The commission meets again next Wednesday night.

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Redmond City Council could get nearly six-figure pay raise