[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, submitted by a verified resident. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of South King Media, nor its staff:]
About the City Manager’s Recent Raise
At a recent meeting the Des Moines city council voted 5 to 2 to approve a $13,000 raise for City Manager Michael Matthias, who has now received roughly $100,000 in raises since he was hired in 2016 at a base salary of $153,000 a year. He has also received a tripling of his severance package to 18 months, which was approved by the council towards the end of a meeting with the public given no prior notice that the vote would be taking place.
With a salary of a quarter million (plus thousands in additional benefits and a month of paid vacation), our city manager now makes as much as the entire human services budget for our city, and he makes tens of thousands more a year than the city managers of many cities with much larger populations and budgets such as Olympia ($200k), Lakewood ($190k), Burien ($215k) and Puyallup ($180k).
None of this is to say that Mr. Matthias has not done good things as our city manager or that he’s unqualified for the position, but it’s hard not to see the absurdity in increasing his salary by $100,000 in just 6 years, while members of the council simultaneously say we don’t have the funds to improve public safety, increase our human services budget or make other moves that would positively benefit our community.
Unfortunately votes like these will continue to occur until voters make themselves heard and demand a change that will see the council more willing to spend funds to help the community rather than bloat the salaries of city officials.
If you have an opinion on this matter you can reach the full city council at [email protected].
– Anthony Martinelli
EDITOR’S NOTE: Do you have something you’d like to share with our highly engaged local Readers? If so, please email your Letter to the Editor to [email protected] and, pending review and verification that you’re a real human being, we may publish it. Letter writers must use their full names and cite sources – as well as provide an address and phone number (NOT for publication but for verification purposes).