Sequim city manager gets 5 percent pay raise
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Peninsula Daily News
City Manager Steve Burkett has "consistently exceeded expectations," according to Sequim's mayor.

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

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SEQUIM –– The City Council has raised City Manager Steve Burkett's annual salary by 5 percent, from $121,200 to $127,260.

The council unanimously approved the raise, which is retroactive to April 1, after an executive session Monday.

“Steve has consistently exceeded the expectations of the City Council,” Mayor Ken Hays said.

“He brings a great depth of leadership and experience to Sequim.”

Hays pointed to Burkett's management of the city's operating budget after revenues dropped in the wake of the Great Recession.

Since Burkett took over the manager's post in 2009, the city has cut 5 percent from its operating budget.

“There was a little pressure in the executive session to give him a bigger raise because he definitely deserves it,” Councilman Ted Miller said.

Miller, who praised Burkett's professional and accountable style, said the raise has a minimal impact on the city's $18 million budget.

In a February performance review, the council gave Burkett a score of 8.7 out of a possible 10 points in his relationships with the council and public, and an 8.73 score for his managerial performance.

The option of a 5 percent raise was included in Burkett's contract.

Burkett also received a $1,200 raise in January.

The increase of $100 a month was the same received by other non-union city employees to cover additional health insurance costs, Burkett has said.

Burkett oversees a $27 million budget and 72 full-time-equivalent employees.

“As part of the process, the City Council has reviewed the salaries of other public sector leaders on the Olympic Peninsula, and we feel this is an appropriate salary for the Sequim City Manager,” Hays said.

Monday's raise bumped Burkett's salary ahead of that of Port Townsend City Manager David Timmons, who earns $122,372 annually and oversees a $30.3 million budget and 83 employees.

Port Angeles City Manager Daniel McKeen is paid $137,725. He oversees a $124.3 million budget and 252 full-time-equivalent employees.

Also Monday, the council approved a $36,000 contract with Emerald Paving Inc. of Snohomish to lay new decorative crosswalks at the city's main intersection of Sequim Avenue and Washington Street.

Funds for the work were included in last year's rebuild of Sequim Avenue, but the project ran late into the fall, and the crosswalk work could not be completed.

City Engineer David Garlington said the work will require closure of the intersection.

Because of its heavy volume of daytime traffic, work will be done between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. He said Emerald expects it to be a two-night job.

No start date has been set, but the goal is to have the new crosswalks finished before the 118th Irrigation Festival, set May 3-12.

Emerald Paving is the same firm that originally laid down the city's decorative crosswalks.

Garlington said the new crosswalks will be the same brick-colored herringbone pattern as the current crosswalks.

Garlington also informed the council he is applying for a federal grant of $591,000 to begin design of an estimated $2 million rebuild of Fir Street between Sequim Avenue and Fifth Street.

The road has become a major thoroughfare for traffic to Sequim High School and the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula and is in need of improvements, he said.

The city has asked the Federal Highway Administration to give the street a “functional classification,” Garlington said, in order to apply for funding from a $6.5 million allotment to Clallam County entities.

If the city does not submit its application by June 1, Garlington said, those federal funds will be turned over to the state Department of Transportation.

The project would repave the street and add new utility lines, sidewalks and a new drainage system.

Garlington noted the city will consult with the school district on the street's design.

Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at

Last modified: April 09. 2013 6:06PM
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