Citizens could set officials' salaries

Citizens would decide whether or not Pierce County’s elected officials deserve raises under a plan under consideration by the County Council.

The proposal (2007-79) would create an independent citizens’ salary commission that would recommend salary levels for county councilmembers and the county executive, assessor-treasurer, sheriff, auditor and prosecuting attorney. Similar commissions set salaries for Thurston County and state-level elected officials.

The commission’s 10 volunteer members would come from two sources: the county auditor would select six members randomly from among Pierce County 374,561 registered voters, and the county executive would nominate the other four based on their experience in personnel management. The executive’s nominees would be subject to confirmation by the council.

At first, half the members would serve two-year terms and the other half would serve four-year terms, then all members would serve four-year terms. Each person would be limited to serving two consecutive terms.

The council’s Rules & Operations Committee will conduct a public hearing on the proposal on Aug. 13 at 10 a.m. in the County Council Chambers, 930 Tacoma Ave. S., Room 1045, Tacoma.