City Commissioners Nick Fish and Amanda Fritz have opted out of a 2.8 percent "cost of living allowance" pay rise for non-union council employees voted through unanimously by council yesterday. This story was first reported by KGW
this morning last night, but we missed it in council yesterday, having been focused on the Lents Baseball story. The Oregonian is also playing catch-up this morning.
Randy Leonard and Dan Saltzman will take the pay rise. Mayor Sam Adams is yet to comment.
"As an elected official, I didn't think it was appropriate to take the COLA when I am cutting budgets and laying off employees," Fish tells the Mercury this morning.
To take the pay increase in context: Layoffs and pay freezes are happening at every other level of government in Oregon: the state, county, and school board. Days are being shaved off the school year for teachers. The county laid off 16 district attorneys in its budget.
I can imagine the election TV ads, now..."In the worst economic downturn since the great depression, Randy Leonard, Dan Saltzman and perhaps Sam Adams too, decided to take a pay rise, when almost every other public employee in the state was facing layoffs, salary freezes and furloughs."