Kennewick City Councilman John Trumbo Richland City Councilman Bob Thompson
Based on information obtained from Richland, Kennewick and Pasco governments, in 2019 city council member compensation had a wide range. The amount depended on whether the jurisdiction provided medical, dental and vision insurance for its members, whether the members enrolled in those programs and how many family members were covered.
In March 21, 2017 Richland City Council voted unanimously to provide 100% visual and dental coverage and 88% of the medical coverage for city council members, replacing a 2001 ordinance that allowed members access to the employee insurance program. Kennewick officials could not pinpoint when the current insurance benefit was adopted but believed that it was some time before 1984. Kennewick city council members also pay 12% of the cost of the medical insurance coverage.
Kennewick City Councilman John Trumbo collected more in base pay and medical, dental and vision insurance than any other council member in the Tri-Cities, $42,339.48. Bob Thompson collected the second highest amount for the same year, $37,862.88..
The base pay in Kennewick for 2019 was $14,700. For the city council members in Kennewick who were on the Council for all of 2019, the compensation range including base pay and medical dental and vision insurance ranged from Trumbo’s $42,339.48 to $27,332.97 for Bill McKay. Don Britain received $36,546.98; Steve Lee, $35,353.68. Paul Parish who didn’t run for re-election received $35,880.72 for a partial year. Charles Torelli, appointed to replace Matt Boehnke who was elected to the state legislature in 2018, received $11,522.48 for a partial year (he did not participate in the medical or dental program). Steve Young who died in May 2019 received $13,065.70 and his appointed replacement, Ed Frost, received $6,968.17.
Base pay for Richland City Council members was $13,920.00 in 2019. Compensation in Richland for 2019 ranged from $13,920 collected by Brad Anderson and Sandra Kent to Thompson’s $37,862.88. Michael Alvarez was the second highest compensated member of the Richland Council at $34,862; Phil Lemley third at $29,753.04; Terry Christensen and Ryan Lukson each received $15,777.84.
Base pay for Pasco City Council members was $13, 379.60. Pasco does not provide health, dental or vision insurance to its members.
For purposes of comparison Social Security, Paid Family and Medical Leave and Medicare were not considered because the three jurisdictions did not treat them the same way. Kennewick pays those and treats them as a benefit. They are subtracted from the city council compensation in Pasco. Richland did not indicate how they were treated.