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Oak Harbor City Council pay, benefit cuts back on table
The mayor’s proposal to cut salaries and benefits for elected officials is returning to the Oak Harbor City Council.
During a meeting in May, the council members unanimously voted to table the controversial resolutions to the second meeting in November. That meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 19.
Only Councilman Jim Campbell expressed support for the mayor’s proposal.
Councilman Rick Almberg made the motion to table the issues after accusing Mayor Scott Dudley of trying to create a controversy during an election year.
Dudley said he believes it’s an issue of fairness and accountability. He maintains that he and the council members are part-time employees and shouldn’t receive the city’s health care insurance.
Dudley said few other cities provide health care benefits to elected officials.
He also pointed to the financial emergency declared by the council.
Council members earn approximately $7,200 a year, plus health insurance.
Statistics from the Association of Washington Cities show that the Oak Harbor council members earn just slightly above average for similar-sized cities, without factoring in the cost of health care insurance.
The mayor earns about $50,000 a year, but gives back 20 percent of his paycheck to the city.
The $50,000 salary, set by the council years ago, is twice the average amount among cities of a similar size, according to Association of Washington Cities statistics.