Royce Pollard hasn’t counted the signatures yet on the referendum petitions circulating the community, but from what he’s heard, “very few people are saying no,” the former Vancouver mayor said Thursday.
Pollard, along with his predecessor Bruce Hagensen, is leading an effort to retract the raises that the city Salary Review Commission granted the mayor and city council for 2017-18. If they get about 2,700 valid signatures by May 20, and the county auditor determines the petition is in order, the referendum should appear on November’s ballot.
The former mayors have distributed 300 petition sheets to roughly 70 referendum supporters. They’ll be gathering again at 7 p.m. Monday at the IAFF Local 425 union hall, 2807 N.W. Fruit Valley Road.
Pollard is asking everyone who’s gathered signatures to bring in what they have so far to get an initial count. If they can’t make it, they should call an organizer, he said.
“We’ve got reports from people who have three or four sheets filled up,” he said.
Pollard said he has received more than 30 phone calls from people asking where they can sign a petition. Referendum supporters will have petitions available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at a table at the Vancouver Farmers Market, which is downtown at Sixth and Esther streets.
To be valid, the signatures must be from city residents who are currently registered to vote.
On April 20, the salary commission increased the mayor’s pay for 2017-18 by 117 percent, from $27,600 to $60,000 a year. City councilors’ pay is rising by 50 percent, from $21,600 to $32,496 a year. The mayor pro tem, a councilor who fills in when the mayor is unavailable, will see a pay boost from $24,000 to $37,500 a year, a 56 percent increase.
For more information about the referendum effort, call Royce Pollard at 360-693-7526, Pat Jollota at 360-695-3262 or Bruce Hagensen at 360-694-1841.