We hope Monday’s vote on whether to increase pay for Bellevue’s mayor and six City Council members doesn’t prove too contentious.
An easy compromise, between those who believe that the proposed 33 percent hike is unconscionable (even though raises have not been granted for six years), and those who would grant nothing at all given the city’s precarious financial state, would help restore some rationality to the process.
The problem stems from the long period in which no raises were granted. Had small raises been granted annually, we would not be in this predicament. Clearly, a 30-something percent pay hike is a lot to swallow. But a small raise of, say, $500 a year, awarded annually, would, over time, take care of the problem.
Councilman Don Preister, who believes with some justification that the council’s below-par pay is a mark of disrespect for their service, will have to swallow hard and take the small increase, safe in the knowledge, however, that future increases will ease the pain. And those who would like to keep things are they are — and even cut pay — will have to grants that public service need not be slavery.
Either way, these are piddling amounts for a city the size of Bellevue.
Let’s settle it and move on to bigger things.