LOCAL NEWS

Mayor Durkan is replacing Seattle’s highest-paid employee

Dec 4, 2017, 12:51 PM | Updated: 3:11 pm

Seattle will soon say goodbye to its highest-paid employee.

“Running for office and looking at what changes need to be made in the city … it was clear to me that (Seattle) City Light is one of the most important where we needed to make a change,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said Monday. “I talked with the director in terms of what my expectations were. We made a mutual decision that he would resign.”

RELATED: SPD chief Kathleen O’Toole steps down

One week into her role as Seattle mayor, Durkan is not only charged with replacing the city’s police chief, but also the CEO of Seattle City Light.

The utility’s CEO, Larry Weis, is Seattle’s highest-paid employee, earning $340,000 annually. That’s double former Mayor Ed Murray’s salary (Murray hired Weiss in 2016). Weis can also earn an 8 percent bonus — about $30,000 — if he receives a good performance review. Crosscut reports that Weis’ self-evaluation submitted last March indicated he felt that he earned the bonus.

Durkan said the city will conduct a nationwide search for a CEO to take over Seattle City Light. She would not comment on the pay range that she has in mind for the new executive.

“I will tell you that if we pay at a certain range, we expect certain performance,” Durkan said.

Seattle City Light challenges

The electric utility has been mired with “challenges” in recent years, which Durkan noted Monday. The mayor spoke to billing issues and workplace environment.

A new billing system was late and $43 million over budget in 2016. Even after it was implemented, the system resulted in hundreds of billing errors a year later.

The utility also did not recover $133 million in revenue between 2012 and 2016 because of a variety of factors, including miscalculating energy demand and not accounting for customers becoming more energy efficient. City Light is currently studying the problem to find solutions to the financial loss.

This all comes after City Light faced other problems with its previous CEO, Jorge Carrasco. There were concerns about Carrasco as Murray considered giving him a pay raise. The CEO was conned — in a matter of hours — into allowing men posing as Native Americans to steal 42,500 pounds of the utility’s copper worth $120,000. City Light then paid $17,500 to a brand management company to improve Carrasco’s online profile.

Local News

hazard pay...
Dalton Day

With divisive vote, Seattle council upholds grocery worker hazard pay ordinance

Reversing its position in December, Seattle council has upheld the city's $4 an hour hazard pay requirement for grocery workers.
22 hours ago
Ballot drop box King County, elections even year...
Nick Bowman

State lawmaker: Bill moving Washington elections to even years is a ‘common sense’ shift

A newly-proposed bill in the state Legislature would seek to move most of Washington's statewide and local elections to even years. 
22 hours ago
Paine Field...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Fog and 5G cancel air travel at Paine Field

Alaska Airlines canceled all flights in and out of Paine Field on Monday amid foggy weather and concerns about 5G.
22 hours ago
Starbucks...
Dalton Day

Trio of Seattle Starbucks locations now pushing to unionize, claim company is ‘stalling’

With three Seattle Starbucks locations attempting to unionize, Councilmember Sawant introduces a resolution to simplify the organizing process.
22 hours ago
Olympia high school...
Nicole Jennings

Dad presses district for solutions after racist incident at Olympia high school

In the days since a racist video taken at a basketball game circulated, parents and students are demanding change in the Olympia School District.
22 hours ago
Sea lions...
MyNorthwest Staff

Group of sea lions overtakes privately-owned Ballard dock

A privately-owned dock in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood is now home at least 20 sea lions who moved in over the weekend.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Mayor Durkan is replacing Seattle’s highest-paid employee