David Condon

Keeping government affordable

David Condon, Mayor, No Phone Number Available

Monday, November 10, 2014 at 3:03 p.m.

Keeping government affordable is an important directive that drives decisions we make every day at City Hall. As we think about how we continue to deliver services better and more affordably to our citizens, it is important that we consider what drives the cost of government. As a service industry, we are largely a people business and that means salaries are an important part of the equation.

That's why I'm proposing a three-part plan to keep government affordable. The plan calls for overhauling the process for setting the mayor's salary, changing arbitration guidelines that govern labor contracts for public safety employees and a comprehensive review of City salaries.

The proposal would:

  • Transfer authority to set the mayor's salary to the citizen Salary Review Commission and follow the process that body uses to establish salaries for City Council members
  • Push the state Legislature to add disparity in housing costs among communities in our state as a factor to be considered in labor arbitration for police officers and firefighters
  • Invest in a comprehensive salary survey of all of City job classifications to ensure wages are consistent with market rates

For too long during the mid-2000s, the City lost sight of what was happening with household income in our community. Over the past three years, as labor contracts have come up for renewal, we have pushed hard to realign salary growth to be more consistent with what the rest of the community is experiencing. We have turned a corner on salary growth in our labor contracts and need to commit the City long-term to maintaining that discipline.

We have accomplished a lot over the past three years to make Spokane safer, stronger and smarter. This affordability plan will help us keep the momentum going.

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