(The Center Square) – The Pierce County Council will consider salary increases ranging from 4% to 6% for four elected officials beginning next year.
The four positions up for a salary increase include the county assessor-treasurer, auditor and county executive, all of which would receive a 4% salary increase if approved by the council. The county sheriff would receive a 6% increase in salary.
All four positions would then receive an additional 3% raise in 2025, according to the proposal made by the Pierce County Citizens’ Commission.
Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier currently makes $214,540 in salary this year, according to salary data available on the Pierce County website. That is a 4% increase from the $206,289 he made in 2022.
With the proposed salary increase, the county executive would make $223,122 in 2024 and $229,816 in 2025.
The current Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Mike Lonergan had a salary of $149,921 in 2022 and $155,918 in the current year. The proposed 4% raise would bring his annual salary to $162,155 in 2024.
The assessor-treasurer position would then be at a set salary of $167,020 in 2025 with the 3% increase.
The Pierce County auditor position was set at a salary of $145,651 in 2022. Since Linda Farmer was elected to the auditor position in November 2022, her 2023 salary is set at $151,477.
The proposal realigns the salary of the auditor’s positions to match the $155,918 salary of the assessor-treasurer prior to the 4% salary increase. This move previously happened in 2020, according to the proposal.
The proposed 4% salary increase would bring Farmer to $162,155 in 2024. Followed by another boost to $167,020 in 2025.
Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer’s salary was set at $173,349 in 2022 and $180,283 in 2023. It would bump up to $191,100 in 2024 with the 6% increase and then $196,833 in 2025 with the following 3% boost.
The Pierce County Citizens’ Commission heard presentations by the Pierce County assessor-treasurer, auditor, executive and sheriff during monthly meetings from April 2023 to August 2023 before proposing the salary increases to the county council.
The commission considered factors, including inflation, job responsibilities, salaries of similar offices in comparable counties, current salaries of senior managers in the four offices, past salary increases recommended by the commission, and past salary increases approved by the Pierce County Council, according to the proposal.
Three out of the four elected positions in Pierce County make the most in salary this year in comparison to salary data in Washington state’s other two most populated counties: King and Snohomish Counties.
Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers’ 2023 salary is set at $205,561. County Assessor Linda Hjelle’s salary this year is at $151,645. County Auditor Garth Fell is making a salary of $151,645 as well. Lastly, Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney is making $179,726 in 2023.
King County’s 2023 salary data shows the four positions at a salary less than both Snohomish and Pierce Counties. However, other factors can increase the reported pay, including bonuses and stipends. The Center Square has requested gross salary information from King County for a future report.
The proposal will go to the Pierce County Council for final consideration on Nov. 14.