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Arlington launches salary study


At this week’s regular meeting, Arlington City Council was scheduled to launch a salary study on non-represented employees.

Victoria McGrath, of McGrath Human Resources Group, was scheduled to explain how a market-based salary system works and present an overview of methodology with recommended changes to the classification system and “compression strategies.”

Non-represented staff largely comprise management.

The last full comprehensive compensation plan was completed in the early 2000s, according to council documents.

McGrath Human Resources Group was selected from two applicants.

Council was also asked this week to approve a collective bargaining agreement with the IAFF Local No. 3728 for 2017-2018.

The firefighters union ratified the agreement on Nov. 30, according to Heather Logan, assistant administrator in charge of personnel.

Council was expected to approve an amendment to the city’s Horizontal Mixed Use overlay and zoning, a code that will facilitate higher density development to meet requirements for the state’s Growth Management Act.

The HMU is an “overlay” district, meaning that the underlying commercial zone remains the principle zoning designation, but the overlay allows for a mix of high-density residential development to co-exist with a commercially zoned areas. The goal is to create an urban village concept.

In this week’s consent agenda, Arlington City Council was expected to approve an agreement with the Washington State Department of Transportation to manage funds for a federal grant to pay for restoration of 67th Avenue (phase one, south of Cemetery Road to 172nd Street NE.)

Council also agreed last week to surplus a 1992 Ford dump truck from the Wastewater Utility Department.

Tourism grants

After discussion at last Monday’s workshop meeting, it’s not clear if council will approve the distribution of $146,158 in lodging tax grants as recommended by the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC).

The budgeted amount was $160,000 and the 17 requests totaled $185,335.

The LTAC recommended funding four proposals from the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce, including $14,000 for the Visitor Information Center, almost $5,500 for a coupon book, $5,000 for membership with the Cascade Loop driving tour and $5,000 for the Fourth of July Grand Parade, with no funds for the chamber’s Smokey Point Carnival and the Old Fashioned Fourth of July Carnival.

The committee recommended full funding for two summer weekend events — the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society’s Northwest Genealogy Conference ($40,000) and the Arlington Fly-In ($30,000).

The committee recommended funding several city projects including $4,800 for Arlington’s Stillaguamish Eagle Festival, $7,311 for the city’s outdoor movies and music in Terrace Park, $6,000 for the pocket park in downtown Arlington, and $6,000 for phase II of a sound system for Olympic Avenue.

The Arlington Rotary Club’s request for $5,000 to pay for fireworks on the Fourth of July was not recommended for funding.

Both the Downtown Arlington Business Association and the Arlington Arts Council were to be funded half of their $20,000 requests, even though they both present multiple events through the year.

As explained in documents, “the committee could not determine the individual impact of each event as data was combined ... and the combined data presented challenges on how to score the applications.”

Criteria for scoring includes overnight stays and attracting visitors from more than 50 miles away, length of impact of a funded project, partnerships and sustainability.

After some discontent expressed by council members Sue Weiss, Debora Nelson and Marilyn Oertle at last week’s workshop meeting, Paul Ellis explained requirements of the state attorney general in order to change the LTAC’s recommendations.

If changes are made, Ellis said, it must go back to the LTAC and a public hearing must be held.


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