Mayor Martin gets raise, more duties with city

Shores council votes 5-2 to provide mayor with $65,000 salary

The Ocean Shores City Council voted 5-2 Monday evening to grant Mayor Jon Martin a $53,000 raise, enough for Martin to expand his role with the city and turn down a promotion in the restaurant industry.

In an interview with The Daily World, Martin said the salary increase cemented his commitment to remain as mayor of Ocean Shores and leave his position as a director of operations at McDonald’s, and that he was “excited” about spending more time as mayor.

The council-approved ordinance hikes the Ocean Shores mayor compensation from the previous $1,000 per month stipend — or $12,000 salary — to a $65,000 salary, making Martin the highest paid mayor in Grays Harbor County by roughly $50,000, according to a 2020 report from The Daily World.

The salary amount is based on comparisons with salaries of other city employees, according to Finance Director Angela Folkers.

Martin said he “couldn’t quantify” exactly how much more time his new role would require due to the around-the-clock nature of the job, but guessed it would be at least 40 hours per week.

Much of the job will be “trying to create policies that will improve the systems of Ocean Shores,” Martin said.

“My new position would give me additional time to focus on legislative issues, citizen outreach, restructuring city processes and job responsibilities,” Martin wrote in an email to The Daily World last month.

At a Nov. 14 council meeting, Martin announced that he had been offered a promotion to manage 25 McDonald’s restaurants in Western Washington, and that the promotion would require his relocation from Ocean Shores, and, therefore, his resignation as mayor. While he said he initially considered stepping away from the city, he also “found it imperative to devote more time to the city,” according to an email from Martin.

Still Martin said at the meeting he had to “plan on making a living.”

Despite the increase, Martin said, the city will still be spending less money, in total, on city jobs — mayor, public works director and city engineer — than it has in the past, even with the pay raise, a major talking point for councilmembers who chose to vote in favor of the pay raise.

Since the city lost its public works director and city engineer, two positions that cost the city roughly $460,000 every two years, City Administrator Scott Andersen has completed much of the work those positions required. Andersen recently took over as official head of public works while remaining in his administrator job.

“What we need is someone that can manage projects for us and Scott (Andersen) is more than capable from an administrative point of view,” Martin said.

Martin said he didn’t anticipate the city bringing back the public works or engineer position, and his more invested role as mayor would allow him to support Andersen with the increased workload.

The city also recently hired a project manager, Tim Hippensteel, to work in the public works department, which will cost the city $317,000 over the course of two years.

With his own salary increase, Martin said the city’s “savings,” following the restructuring, would be about $238,000 over the course of two years.

“For a small city, I think this will make us very nimble and allow us to add more people to the public works team to get ‘boots on the ground,’” Martin said. “I think it’s a win-win for the entire city.”

Because of an amendment to the mayor’s compensation ordinance made by Councilor Frank Elduen, the engineer and public works positions are now directly tied to the mayor’s salary. Should those positions ever be reinstated with the city, the amendment states, the mayor’s salary will return to the $12,000 mark.

Elduen and Katherine Sprigg were the only council members to vote against a pay raise for the mayor.

Should the public works structure remain the way it is, the mayor’s salary — whether it be for Martin or someone else — will also remain at $65,000 following next year’s election.

Martin was appointed to the position last year after the death of Crystal Dingler. His term will expire in November of 2023.

Despite his increased role, Martin said he won’t be stepping down from any of his other public positions, other than his job with McDonald’s. Martin currently serves as a Public Utility District Commissioner for District 3 (and acting president of the PUD commission), member of the Grays Harbor County Solid Waste Board and vice president of the Greater Grays Harbor Executive Board.

“I believe that there’s great opportunities in Ocean Shores and working with the citizens and the staff and other outside government agencies, I think we can get a lot of great things done,” Martin said.