Almost 100 city employees projected to make $100K/year

Almost 100 city employees projected to make $100K/year »Play Video
KENNEWICK - The average household in the Tri-Cities brings in $50,000. So you might be surprised to learn almost 100 people working for local city government are projected to make twice than this year.

KEPR found out Kennewick is paying the most six-figure salaries.

Jonathan Schlender represents the average worker in Kennewick. His window-cleaning business brings in roughly 48-thousand a year.

But Kennewick has 40 people on the city's payroll making more than twice that.

"We have some positions that are critical to the operations of the city. We have professional positions," said Kennewick Finance Director Evelyn Lusignan.

Those include positions like engineers, attorneys and accountants. Kennewick says the salaries are representative of their expertise and longevity.

In Richland, almost 18% of its workers will hit the six-figure mark.
Pasco expects to pay that much to just 14 of its more than 400 employees.
Both cities have fewer professionals on staff that would deem that high rate.

Even under tight budget circumstances, officials from all three cities tell KEPR no one has offered up a salary cut or wage freeze.

Reporter: "Are there any positions with bonuses tied to them or any other ability to take more than the expected salary?"
Evelyn Lusignan: "We do have, you know - annual increases that are based on performance management - that was instituted a couple years ago."

If employees don't reach that goal -- it's possible their salary incentive is cut. Beyond that, certain positions mandate a six-figure paycheck -- while working for city government. Those employees could likely demand the same salary if they move to the private sector.

We're also told Pasco could see an increase in employees making 100-K.
Contracts for police and fire departments are up soon -- at which point salary increases can be made.