Wenatchee City Council members discuss creating an independent salary committee for their fellow council members Thursday.

During a workshop, Councilmember Mark Kulaas introduced the concept of a salary committee handling future salary negotiations, rather than the council members themselves.

“I do think that this approach has a higher degree of objectivity and transparency,” Kulaas said.

Currently, council members vote on each councilmember’s salary, which would take effect for the next councilmember taking their seat. 

Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz receives $8,500 per month, and each council member receives $1,000 per month. 

This proposed committee would consist of three members, who would serve on the committee for the next three years.

Councilmember Keith Huffaker asked whether this committee was truly necessary.

“Do we really need something like this in the City of Wenatchee?” Huffaker asked. “I've expressed my views in the past about how I feel about salaries for our positions. I think this should be a position that people serve on because they want to serve, not because of a salary.”

Councilmember Travis Hornby explained how the salary committee would remove some of the awkwardness that comes with salary negotiation.

“I'm uncomfortable voting up or down my salary period,” Hornby said. “I want someone else to make the decision based on merits or what they feel that we're worth.”

Hornby also expressed his wish for the council to remain responsible for the Mayor’s salary and not the committee.

The council will talk more about a salary committee in April.

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