In a unanimous vote, the city council decided to increase Steve Burkett’s salary by 5 percent at its Monday night meeting at the Sequim Transit Center.
The raise increases his salary from $120,000 to $127,260.
“As part of the process, the city council has reviewed the salaries of other public sector leaders on the Olympic Peninsula and we feel this is an appropriate salary for the Sequim city manager,” Mayor Ken Hays said.
“It’s been a tough three years, the last three years,” said Burkett. “We’ve had to make reductions in our budget and spending, and a lot of employees went without raises for the last three years.”
Those employees got their raises recently as well, with general employees receiving a 4.5 percent increase, according to Burkett.
Based on three positive annual performance reviews for the past three years, City Attorney Craig Ritchie proposed the increase and Burkett furnished a table outlining other local city management salaries to support the decision. While this is Burkett’s first official raise, the city has amended his contract twice to provide retirement, leave and expense benefits.
The first amendment, adopted in February 2011, increased his available leave each year from 25 to 30 days, a car allowance increase from $350 to $400 per month and an additional payment by the city into a retirement account each year on top of his existing Public Employee Retirement System payments.
The second amendment to Burkett’s contract provided 13 additional days of sick leave, as well as a lump sum equal to $500 per month from the amendment’s signing date in to be paid on the successful completion of Burkett’s contract. Effectively, if Burkett's contract ended this month, he would be awarded $2,500 for the five months since the amendment passed in November 2012.
The city council also allocated $38,000 for a contract with Emerald Paving to beautify the Washington Street and Sequim Avenue intersection. The process will create plastic overlays at the crosswalks of the intersection, each with a herringbone brick image on them. The herringbone brick patterns must be installed using a high-temperature heater and must be done at night, making the process impossible during the winter.
According to city engineer David Garlington, the new contract will save money as the original plan costs just as much but didn’t include the current contract’s traffic control costs.
The city also accepted a Local Agency Agreement with the Washington State DOT as part of the process to secure funding for future improvements to Fir Street. The overall Fir Street improvements are estimated at more than $1.9 million, with $591,000 needed for design and engineering of the street.
The LAA signed by the council is the first step in procuring federal grant funding for 86.5 percent of these initial costs, or $511,800. The city would need then need to match only 13.5 percent of the construction costs, or $79,200.