After giving its director a controversial pay boost, the Seattle Monorail Project is considering whether other employees should also get raises. Monorail employees could win raises...

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After giving its director a controversial pay boost, the Seattle Monorail Project is considering whether other employees should also get raises.

Monorail employees could win raises of as much as 5 percent for meeting individual goals. The discussion comes in the slipstream of a 5 percent, $8,789 merit raise for executive Director Joel Horn this month. Other merit raises wouldn’t begin for at least six months, said Chairman Tom Weeks. Horn is briefing board members this week on the concept, which Weeks described as brainstorming.

Board members have praised the agency’s performance in completing an environmental-impact statement, acquiring land for stations and withstanding a “monorail recall” campaign that voters rejected in November.

However, a construction contract has not been signed for its 14-mile Green Line connecting Ballard, Seattle Center, downtown and West Seattle.

Board member Cindi Laws said she is skeptical about giving raises, since salaries already exceed those of many public employees or working-class residents.

“I have more sympathy for the large number of people in Seattle who are just getting by,” she said.

Her colleague Richard Stevenson, who supports merit pay, said monorail employees enjoy less job security than other government officials, as tasks will eventually be taken over by a private construction team.

“I don’t believe in making political or social statements on people’s livelihoods,” he said.

The average pay for 82 monorail employees was $80,000 last year, with 27 earning at least $100,000. Horn’s salary was increased to about $187,000 this year, including a 1.4 percent cost-of-living raise for all employees.

By contrast, Sound Transit paid its 349 employees an average of $68,191 last year. About 10 percent of the staff, or 34 people, made more than $100,000, said spokesman Geoff Patrick.

Mike Lindblom: 206-515-5631 or mlindblom@seattletimes.com