Bellevue City Council members’ salaries will remain unchanged after two competing proposals failed Monday night.

A 3-3 tie among council members doomed a proposal to lower members’ annual salaries from $11,000 to $8,000.

A second proposal, to increase members’ salaries from $11,000 to $15,000, failed to get a second, so no vote was taken.

At the meeting, council members Carol Blood and John Hansen spoke against both measures, saying they would rather have a policy established for future raises in smaller increments.

Councilman Steve Carmichael proposed the cut in council members’ salaries. In doing so, he cited the costs associated with hiring a full-time Fire Department, and the needs of the Police Department, Parks Department and city’s pools.

Councilman Don Preister made the motion to increase salaries of the council and the mayor, arguing that long periods of flat compensation demean the political offices.

For 25 years, the salary for City Council members was $7,000, Preister said. It increased to $11,000 in 2010.

The mayor’s salary, which is $15,000 a year, has been unchanged since 1997. Under Preister’s proposal, the mayor’s salary would have gone to $20,000.

During public comment at the Feb. 8 meeting, three people spoke against the salary increases.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1192, emily.nitcher@owh.com

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