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Dahlquist: Lower pay for council members

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on June 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm with No Comments »
June 18, 2010 2:55 pm

File this under advice unlikely to be taken: A candidate is calling on her opponent to cut his own pay.

The Pierce County Council raised the county executive’s salary in 2006, which triggered a corresponding 21 percent jump in council members’ pay starting in their next terms.

Cathy Dahlquist, running for a vacant state House seat, criticized opponent and fellow Republican Shawn Bunney for voting for the pay increase. Bunney said it was a different time, when the economy was better. Today Dahlquist retorted in a news release: Why not reverse the pay increase once the recession hit?

Cathy Dahlquist, Enumclaw School Board member and State House candidate in the 31st District, called on her Republican primary opponent, Shawn Bunney, to reverse his vote to raise his own salary.

Dahlquist said in a press release last week that Bunney should not have voted to increase his own pay by 21%. According to public records, Bunney’s salary was more than $112,000 last year, not including benefits.

Bunney’s response quoted in the Tacoma News Tribune on June 17 was, “It was five years ago under very different economic conditions.”

“First, it was three and a half years ago,” said Dahlquist. “And if the only excuse for such a massive pay raise was because government was so flush with taxpayer cash, then why didn’t Mr. Bunney move to reverse that pay increase the very next year when county revenues began to plummet?”

Dahlquist called on Bunney to come forward with a proposal to reverse that vote and go back to pre-recession pay levels.

Bunney has said the pay increase for the executive came after a human-resources survey of salaries for other county executives.

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