City Council approves big raise for City Light CEO

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SEATTLE -  

Quick Facts:

  • City Light general manager and CEO Jorge Carrasco makes $244,000
  • Murray will decide amount of raise
  • City Light workers gathered signatures against raise
  • City Council approved a pay range increase 6-2
  • Murray has indicated support for $60,000 raise
  • With the raise, Carrasco could make as much as $364,ooo a year

Seattle's highest paid employee will be getting a sizable raise.

The Seattle City Council voted 6-2 to increase the pay range for City Light General Manager and CEO Jorge Carrasco Monday.

When Carrasco was hired,  the pay range for the position was $158,000 to $237,000.  The City Council voted to increase to pay range by 45 percent  -- $227,000 to $364,000.

Mayor Ed Murray will decide the actual amount of the increase, which he said is needed because Carrasco is underpaid compared to other CEOs of public utilities.

The superintendent of the Tacoma Public Utility District is paid $309,000 a year. The superintendent of  the Snohomish PUD is paid $356,000.

According to City Light spokesman Scott Thomsen, Murray has indicated support for a $60,000 raise.

Before the meeting, a petition with hundreds of signatures was delivered to City Hall after Seattle City Light workers gathered signatures in person and online to halt the raise.

They say it's appalling that Seattle leaders could make the highest paid city employee even richer.

Carrasco currently makes nearly $245,000 a year.

Carrasco’s raise will come at the cost of City Light customers.

His raise will not be retroactive to January, as first requested. The City Council passed an amendment that his new salary will start July 1.

Council member Nick Licata voted no -- citing that no real improvement was seen in the City Light employee survey.  As expected, council member Kshama Sawant also voted no.

Carrasco was hired more than 10 years ago and during that time, the pay scale for his position has been adjusted one time.

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