Pay hiked for next public works director

The city's new public works director should have a salary range of $80,000 to $106,000, the city council decided at its Jan. 11 meeting.

Newly elected Councilor Ted Miller said to offer a lower salary for the position would be "penny wise and pound foolish."

The city's public works department has lacked a permanent director since Jim Bay retired in April 2008.

City engineer Bill Bullock served as interim director until Ben Rankin, city engineer in Clemson, S.C., was hired in May 2009. Then Bullock left to pursue other opportunities.

Rankin resigned Dec. 2, 2009, and former Anacortes public works director Jim Pemberton was hired a week later to take his position in the interim.

City manager Steve Burkett said the department clearly has suffered from a lack of continuity and leadership. It needs someone with not just the broad technical skills, but also the personal, management and organizational skills, he told the council.

After a comprehensive salary review, he is recommending a 10-percent increase in the salary range, Burkett said. In addition to the higher salary, having a permanent city manager also will help in recruiting a permanent public works director, he said.

Councilor Bill Huizinga said that salary would be right in line with Port Townsend.

Burkett said it would be in line with cities Sequim's size but he included cities larger than Sequim in his salary review.

The person will be in charge of a $10 million budget so it's worth the $13,000 increase to a range of $80,000 to $106,000, Burkett said.

Reach Brian Gawley at

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