Pierce County increases salaries for four elected officials, including Sheriff Troyer

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — Pierce County Council voted unanimously to increase salaries of four elected officials by 2.9 percent next year.

The increases will bolster salaries for Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer, Assessor-Treasurer Mike Lonergan and Auditor Julie Anderson.

The elected officials will see an additional increase between $5,800 and $4,104 annually.

According to The News Tribune 2020 salaries database:

  • Dammeier’s annual pay will increase to $206,288.72
  • Troyer’s annual pay will increase to $168,299.93
  • Lonergan’s annual pay will increase to $146,264.43
  • Anderson’s annual pay will increase to $145,650.82

The salary increase is described as a cost of living adjustment and usually passed every two years. The council approved a 2.5 salary increase for these four officials in 2019.

The pay raise also upped the council members’ salaries. According to county charter, their pay is tied to the executive’s. Council members make 60 percent of the executive’s salary at the time they are elected, and that pay rate is frozen for the four-year term.

Chairman Derek Young (D-Gig Harbor) supported the salary increases.

“I appreciate ... keeping the raises consistent with each other but also with the idea of keeping it consistent with union-represented employees,” he said before the unanimous vote.

County union employees receive an annual cost of living adjustment of 2.9 percent. No other council member spoke on the proposal.

Executive Dammeier’s initial proposal recommended the sheriff position receive a 7 percent increase as of Jan. 1, 2022 and another 3 percent increase in 2023. The proposal also said the assessor-treasurer position would receive a 3 percent increase in both 2022 and 2023, and the executive and auditor positions would each receive a 2.9 percent increase in 2022.

Council member Jani Hitchen (D-Spanaway) introduced an amendment to reduce the pay increases for all elected officials to 2.9 percent for only 2022.

Young said in the Tuesday meeting that Troyer told the council he thought it appropriate to follow the 2.9 percent pay increase. Troyer has been charged with two misdemeanor crimes for his run-in with a Black newspaper carrier earlier this year, and there have been calls for his resignation.

The council amended the proposal to reduce the increase for each official to 2.9 percent on Tuesday.

The salary increases will be rolled into the 2022-2023 biennial budget.

The highest salary in county government according to the 2020 salary database was former Medical Examiner Thomas Clark with $272,098.32.

This story was originally published by The News Tribune.