Langley council approves another pay raise for mayor

Langley council members unanimously approved a new pay raise for Mayor Paul Samuelson on Monday, the second salary increase since September.

The council will take a final vote on the proposal, which would increase Samuelson’s pay from $31,000 to $51,513, at its next meeting in November.

City officials have said the increase is part of a two-step process; it kicked off with a budget adjustment in September that raised the mayor's salary by $10,000.

“We have discussed this in depth,” Councilwoman Rene Neff said, noting the council’s earlier discussions of more pay for Samuelson.

“I like it,” she said.

“It’s still far short of what you deserve,” Councilman Bob Waterman told the mayor.

The salary increase is part of a philosophical move, city officials said, away from having a part-time mayor and a full-time city administrator to a full-time mayor. Under previous Mayor Neil Colburn, the mayor was not a full-time employee and many day-to-day decisions at city hall were handled by then-City Administrator Walt Blackford.

Gilman said the raise would require Samuelson to work 40 hours per week on average. He is not required to track his hours or complete a time card.

Samuelson said he has been spending plenty of time at city hall.

“I don’t think you want to know how many hours I work,” he told the council. “I’ve been advocating for a Murphy bed.”

The newest rate increase would be retroactive to September. The $51,513 amount, city officials said, is in line with the base pay for city department heads.

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