This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.
Pierce County government is on its way up.
Headed northward: fees to use county parks and facilities, the cost of a permit to remodel a house, sewer rates – all a part of the 2011 county budget approved by the County Council this week to cover an anticipated $8 million deficit.
Something else that’s rising: county salaries.
Thanks to employment contracts negotiated before county officials realized the full scope of the recession, county workers will get raises of at least 2.5 percent this year.
In many cases, the bumps will be offset by furloughs and higher health care costs. But long after those savings are recouped, the 2011 raises will remain a part of employees’ base salaries and become an ongoing cost of doing business for Pierce County.
That incremental escalation of worker compensation has a high cost.