City Can’t Patch Potholes, but Doubles Mayor’s Salary

by lewwaters

Leavitt LaughingMayor Tim Leavitt swooped into office in the 2009 elections largely due to his numerous claims of opposing tolling a new Interstate Bridge project that saw him flip within weeks of winning to fully supporting them and leading the outgoing Mayor, Royce Pollard to express in an interview, “I want to puke.”

You may desire to grab that vomit bucket again as it is now reported that although Mayor of Vancouver, Washington is only a part-time gig, the salary for the position has now been more than doubled to some $60,000 a year.

Some may think that is an acceptable salary for a Mayor, but it must be remembered that in our community, the day to day functioning of the city is in the hands of a city manager that is paid over $200,000 a year, leaving the Mayor’s position as more of a figurehead that leads the city council, also part-time positions for each.

Researching the median income of families working and paying the taxes that this increased salary relies on we find,

“The median income for a household in the city was $41,618, and the median income for a family was $47,696. Males had a median income of $37,306 versus $26,940 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,192.”

Leavitt ran for Mayor with full knowledge that it was only a part-time gig back in 2009, but began calling for a massive increase in the salary shortly after being sworn in.

Although Levitt boasts of how well the city is doing financially, we also must recall that during the ‘Great Recession,” a fire station had to be closed, but was reopened thanks to a grant for fire fighters.

We have also seen a dramatic increase in the number of homeless within the community and tax abatements granted to wealthy developers supposedly to build more “affordable housing” around the city.

But, we also see that in downtown, there exists no large grocery store for those living in the downtown area to purchase food from, causing residents to travel across the river to Oregon or outside the downtown area.

So just what additional duties will the Mayor take on? I haven’t seen any.

Does Leavitt seek to quit his daytime job as a Civil Engineer to relish the Mayoral power, strutting around town with his nose in the air while struggling taxpayers tighten their belts?

And just when did allegedly “serving the public” come to mean being paid better than those you supposedly serve and from their paychecks?

Have we forgotten that not all that long ago, Leavitt was proposing taxpayers pick up the tab for “annual dues for a civic or service organization” such as the Rotary Club.

While he has been supposedly so down and out and poor from serving as Mayor, it was also reported he somehow managed to purchase a classic Ford Mustang, that I assume cost somewhere around $15,000 to $20,000.

Whether he still owns it I have not heard.

In the meantime, we read of an increase around Southwest Washington potholes in streets and the deterioration of other roads while the Mayor and city council fight to stop the creation of family wage, middle class jobs at the Port of Vancouver with an oil transfer terminal.

Instead, he supports a massive Waterfront concrete jungle that will have condos catering to the wealthy, hopefully a high end restaurant, more retail and a hotel, even though just blocks away is the Hilton hotel, barely breaking even that taxpayers could be left on the hook for.

Looks like a recipe for more minimum wage jobs to me.

Does any of this justify a reported “117%” wage increase for a part-time gig in “public service” to you?

It should also be noted that former mayors Hagensen and Pollard both were opposed to this wage increase.

Leavitt let it be known in April 2015 that “I’m 99 percent certain I won’t run,” for another term as Mayor when his current term ends next year in 2017.

But, given his flip flops seen in the past and how that the salary has more than doubled for this part-time position, I would not place any bets on him keeping his word.

UPDATE: Public outrage, including former Mayors and sitting members of the City Council saw this ridiculous increase negated and reset to a little more reasonable 4% increase.

Some Vancouver councilors would refuse salary hike

Salary commission approves 4 percent raises for mayor, councilors
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3 Responses to “City Can’t Patch Potholes, but Doubles Mayor’s Salary”

  1. Ah, don’t forget the drumbeat to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Since that results in a wage of roughly $30,000 per year for full time employment, don’t doubt that the mayor might argue that such an important person as a mayor should receive double the “minimum” wage for his civic work (regardless of the hours involved). (We’ll ignore, for the moment, that raising the minimum wage results in lower employment, shuts out the most unskilled workers (who need beginning level jobs just to learn basic job skills), and encourages investment in automation to eliminate the low-level workers.

    Keep in mind that the Progressive concept is that some of the animals are just more worthy than the others. (Read George Orwell’s Animal Farm.) We are well on the Road to Surfdom, as so aptly described in F.A. Hayek’s book of the same name.

    This is one of (many) times that I am grateful that I selected a residential location that is outside the city limits of Vancouver, though the events in that pitiful city are reflected in all the former great cities that have been under “progressive” political control for generations.

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  2. Same week that we rehire David Evans to work on a project, even though last time they robbed us blind!

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