Local Politics

Manager raises at City Hall raising eyebrows

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane's mayor is raising eyebrows at city hall for a budget that would give three finance managers hefty raises.

The mayor's budget proposal came in early October and it includes raises for three administrators in the city's financial department that already make six figures. In all, the raises would total more than $50,000.

Chief Financial Officer Gavin Cooley would get a $20,000 raise to $143,000 a year, Budget Director Tim Dunivant would get an extra $20,000 for an annual salary of $128,000 and Accounting Director Pam Dolan would get $12,000 more a year to $126,000.

City pay raises

The mayor says these raises are a direct result of reorganizing and eliminating jobs, but City Council President Ben Stuckart is questioning the mayor's methods.

Cooley, Dunivant and Dolan, according to Mayor Condon, work on a salary basis and are taking on more duties and therefore deserve compensation. When asked if hourly workers would see raises as well he said they receive overtime if they work more than 40 hours.

"These positions you are compensating for their managerial expertise and capability, not an hourly wage, and so these people work long hours, they work throughout the weekends … but what we did was we consolidated nearly a million dollars in managerial job descriptions and put them in a new locations," Condon explained.

Council president Ben Stuckart argued that those hourly workers are also taking on extra duties in light of the recent job cuts.

"The budget proposal eliminates a street striper, those four other street stripers are gong to pick up the job of the and asked to work harder but they're not getting raises, so I don't believe that the people that make six figures in our city deserve raises at a time when we're all tightening our belts," Stuckart said.

The mayor's budget proposal for 2013, which includes these raises, still has to get the approval of the city council. With council president Stuckart against these raises it could be a tough battle.

The council is expected to take up this issue in the coming weeks at their Monday meetings.