Increase in pay will widen gap between commission and public
Earlier this week Port of Seattle commissioners rammed through a resolution to increase their own pay [“Seattle Port Commission approves big pay increase,” NWWednesday, March 13]. As was noted by The Times on Feb. 26, the plan was announced two weeks before the final vote, and was timed such that only two of the four commissioners up for election this year would be available to vote.
As a legislative body, commissioners should spend most of their time in public meetings. They are responsible for executive decisions, not the day-to-day operations of the port. I reviewed their meeting minutes, and found the total meeting time in 2012 to be around 128 hours. That comes out to under 3 hours a week.
At their previous pay rate, the commissioners were making $47/hour if they attended all the meetings. They will now make $328/hour. Assuming each commissioner works a full day every week, they will still be making more than $100/hour.
The Seattle Port Commission was never intended to be a full-time job. It should, like any good legislative body, be a group of informed citizens making decisions on behalf of the voting public. By increasing their pay, the commissioners have only widened the gap between themselves and the public.
–Andrew Pilloud, Seattle