No raise for Clark County administrator

Bill Barron’s pay will stay at $174,252

By Stephanie Rice, Columbian Vancouver city government reporter

Published:

 
photoBill Barron

Clark County Administrator Bill Barron received praise but no raise Wednesday from county commissioners.

As administrator, Barron ensures the policy decisions of commissioners are heeded and has responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the county government.

Commissioners first met in executive session to do Barron’s annual performance evaluation before resuming their weekly meeting with Barron and other senior staff members.

“It’s an honor to work with you,” Chairman Marc Boldt told Barron, who has been with the county since 1998. Boldt called Barron loyal and compassionate.

“You are a good team player,” Boldt said. “You’ve taught me a lot about leadership.”

Commissioner Steve Stuart called Barron “an amazing asset to this community,” while Commissioner Tom Mielke said Barron has led by example.

After all the praise, Boldt told Barron, who earns $174,252 a year, that he would not be getting a raise.

Boldt said the weak economy — the county remains behind the national average in economic recovery — was the only reason Barron’s pay was going to hold steady.

Barron used to receive an additional 7.25 percent deferred compensation, but that went away in November when he bought into the state retirement system.

The commissioners’ decision put Barron, 67, in the company of Ridgefield City Manager Justin Clary as the only two local top city administrators to not receive raises in 2012.

Washougal City Administrator Dave Scott received the largest pay hike among his peers, one year after he turned down a pay raise. Scott received a 4.5 percent increase to boost his annual salary to $129,660.

Vancouver City Manager Eric Holmes received a 3.5 percent salary increase; he’ll earn $167,152 this year to run the county’s largest city.

Camas City Administrator Lloyd Halverson, who’s maxed out on the city’s pay scale, received an approximately 1 percent pay increase. His 2012 salary is $127,625.

Battle Ground City Manager John Williams’ salary increased 2.5 percent, to $129,345.

Clary earns $101,448.

La Center, Woodland and Yacolt do not have a city administrator or city manager.

County commissioners, meanwhile, did receive another $2,000 increase.

Commissioners received a $2,000 raise in 2011, which they gave back to the county’s general fund, and a $2,000 raise for 2012, which they have pledged to give to charities.

The 2012 raise boosted their annual salary to $102,228.

Boldt said commissioners discussed trying to freeze their salaries but were told they couldn’t by county attorneys.

Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor Bronson Potter said a state law prohibits commissioners from altering their salary schedule mid-term.

Mielke said he will split his $2,000 among Open House Ministries, King’s Way Christian Schools scholarship program and Shared Hope International.

Boldt will split his $2,000 among Grace Ministries, Go Connect (which finds work for volunteers) and County-Wide Chaplaincy.

Stuart will donate $1,000 to the Share backpack program and $1,000 to the Parks Foundation of Clark County.

Ray Legendre contributed to this story.