By Vicki Hillhouse, August 25, 2014, Walla Walla Union Bulletin
The next term for Port of Walla Walla commissioners could start with a pay increase.
Salary increases for commissioners will be discussed Tuesday during the Port of Walla Walla’s 10 a.m. meeting at 310 A St. The topic is one item on a packed agenda that’s expected to run well into the afternoon.
An increase in compensation would be the first for Port commissioners in eight years. Not since 2006 has a pay hike been approved.
But due to state statutes any increase for those elected to represent the economic development agency would not take effect until the current terms of each commissioner has expired. In other words, the current voting commissioners would either have to be re-elected to receive the increase, or the increases would go to their successors.
The District 3 seat currently represented by Commissioner Ron Dunning would be the first affected. Dunning’s current term expires at the end of 2015.
Commissioners currently receive $750 per month for their work, plus $114 per day for each day they spend attending meetings or representing the Port. The latter compensation is limited by the Legislature to no more than $10,944 per year.
According to a staff report, Tuesday’s discussion is intended as a starting point for dialogue on the subject.
That report also included a listing of what Tri-Cities-area Port commissioners make in addition to the per diem amount. Port of Pasco commissioners receive $800 a month; Port of Benton commissioner are paid $1,000 a month; and Port of Kennewick commissioners get $1,075 a month. The latter Port increases its compensation annually with a cost-of-living adjustment of 4 percent.