Members of the City of Bainbridge Island Salary Commission have made the determination to raise council member salaries for the next seven years in order to lessen the financial barrier to public service that prevents working class members of our community from running for elected office.

There is an urgent necessity to take concrete action toward solving the interlinked, long-running challenges present in our local labor market, on our roads, in our natural environment and with our housing stock. We need to make sure that we have an active, knowledgeable and engaged council that is able to forge new solutions to long-standing challenges. The structural realignment of the economy post-COVID-19 provides new challenges and a window of opportunity for a creative re-imagining of our collective future.

Numbers-wise, our determination is situated between what Bainbridge Island already pays part-time landscape professionals and grade two full-time administrative assistants, and it places individual council member salaries at less than one fifth of the yearly cost of our new city manager.

Everyone wants the Bainbridge Island of 2028 be a vibrant, ecologically sound community with a robust local economy. We hope that our determination empowers and inspires our neighbors to dream big for Bainbridge’s future.

Andi O’Rourke, City of Bainbridge Island Salary Commission member