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The Daily Troll: Switcheroo -- no raise for City Light CEO. Phone, 911 troubles hit San Juans again. Petitions oppose $15 law.

Initiative seeks smaller classes. Pot shop set to open, sell out. Gates compares polio, education challenges.
The Daily Troll: News for your evening commute.

The Daily Troll: News for your evening commute. Art work by Noel Franklin

No raise for City Light boss

Mayor Ed Murray said today that he would not give Seattle City Light CEO Jorge Carrasco a raise. "It has become a political football," the mayor said. Carrasco's current $245,000 annual salary is the second highest of any Seattle city government employee (At $250,000 the new police chief's salary is slightly higher). The City Council recently voted to increase the salary range for Carrasco's post, which would've allowed his pay to rise up to $364,481 per year. The mayor had said that he backed raising the City Light chief's annual salary by about $60,000, to roughly $305,000. 

But around the time the pay-range increase was approved by the Council, The Seattle Times' Jim Brunner reported that City Light had hired a reputation management firm, Brand.com, to burnish Internet search results related to the utility and, specifically, Carrasco's name. Then, The Times reported on an incident that took place last year, in which Carrasco was snookered into giving apparent con men access to City Light's scrap copper. Most recently, Carrasco said in a KIRO Radio interview that he had not asked the mayor for a raise. But the Mayor's Office later confirmed that he had. The mayor said in a press conference today that Carrasco had also indicated that the he was considering other jobs.

Murray plans to work with the City Council to come up with a new, independent process to determine the "appropriate salary" for the City Light post and other city government positions. "We need to pay public employees what they're worth," he said. He indicated that, if Carrasco leaves, the city would likely have to pay more than what the City Light executive is receiving now to find a well-qualified successor. 

Kshama Sawant, one of two council members to oppose the pay-range increase, said in a statement, "This striking reversal is the outcome of strong public pressure on the City's political establishment and a sign of the disgust working people feel about executive excess."  — B.L. (This item has been updated to correct the salary ranking.)

San Juan phone outage

5:03 p.m. The San Juan Islands have been hit by a widespread phone outage this afternoon, which is affecting 911 emergency calls and island-to-island calling. A CenturyLink press release blames the problems on a cable being cut by an "outside contractor," according to the Journal of the San Juan Islands. The outage is also reported to be affecting Internet and cell phone service. It's only about eight months since another major phone disruption caused similar problems, which stretched over a wearying stretch of three days for residents.  — J.C.  

Petitions handed in to block $15 wage law 

5:23 p.m. Forward Seattle today turned in petitions seeking to overturn the city’s new $15 minimum wage law. The City Clerk’s office told The Seattle Times that it will take until at least Monday to determine whether there are enough valid signatures to put the law to a public vote.

Supporters of the $15 minimum wage have charged that signature gatherers of Forward Seattle have been accused of lying to the public about their referendum measure, which would put the ordinance to a vote in November. Forward Seattle has said it gave strict instructions about what could be said to the company contracting to collect signatures. Dan Donohoe, spokesperson for the Prosecutor’s Office, said in an email today that the charges have been referred to Seattle police and the City Attorney’s for investigation as possible gross misdemeanors. – J.B.

Initiative seeks class size reductions

A group called Class Size Counts today turned in petition signatures for I-1351, an initiative to reduce class sizes throughout the state public school system. A spokesperson for the group said the 325,000 signatures, gathered by volunteers, should be plenty to qualify it for the the November general election ballot. The measure would expand existing state plans to reduce class sizes, and it would provide for more counselors and other support staff in schools. There is nothing in the initiative to increase state revenues to provide for the additional staffing or to direct the Legislature on what other expenses to cut to pay for the improvements. 


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Comments:

Posted Wed, Jul 2, 2:29 p.m. Inappropriate

Give Carasco a raise? You mean the raise he didn't, er, did ask for? Ha. How about docking him for the $120K worth of copper he gave to 2 con men posing as indians? See a feather, fall over to give stuff. The Seattle way.

The 1351 "group". You mean the WEA? Yeah. Gotta get more dues paying members. The Party needs money! I'm surprised "the group" didn't pitch one student per member, er, teacher.

BlueLight

Posted Wed, Jul 2, 2:56 p.m. Inappropriate

Coppper-gate (gullibility and misappropriation)
Hiring a consultant to improve his personal internet image (gullibility and misappropriation)
Lying about whether he asked for a raise.

Enough. Resign.

simorgh

Posted Wed, Jul 2, 4:24 p.m. Inappropriate

Jorge Carrasco said on a radio station recently that he "works" for the Mayor and the City Council. No sir, you work for the people of the Seattle.

Class sizes are too big but without revenue, we will see what we saw in the last class size initiative (I-728).

westello

Posted Wed, Jul 2, 5:19 p.m. Inappropriate

Fix it first.... class sizes too large? maybe we should address that before spending $55mill/year on a pilot project for pre-K... just a thought. Why is it Seattle always wants to go for the glitzy new program or project before just buckling down and doing things like maintenance and improving the education system we have now? just a thought....

Posted Wed, Jul 2, 5:48 p.m. Inappropriate

Regarding Seattle City Light and executive compensation. Utilities, like other companies, benchmark their salaries to what others are doing and the others benchmark back . I is a never ending upward spiral where the executives benefit and are aided and abetted by standard HR practices.

I have worked in the utility industry for 30 years, and known many CEO's over that time, both public and private. A good CEO is invaluable but and they will ask for and get very "rich" salaries, It will not stop as long as corporate board's of directors and, for SCL, elected officials support this trend.

I strongly encourage Mayor Murray and the Seattle City Council to take a hard look at this practice. You do not need to pay compensation at this magnitude to get a strong SCL Superintendent. You broke the barrier on $15 minimum wage to assist low income workers. Now is the time to break the same barrier on executive compensation - and reverse the spiral that leads only higher.

Posted Wed, Jul 2, 10:09 p.m. Inappropriate

"benchmark their salaries to what others are doing and the others benchmark back"

"their Moms says they can go"

afreeman

Posted Wed, Jul 2, 7:07 p.m. Inappropriate

How do leaders like the mayor and the governor get elected anyway? Reminds me of the president. Lie to get into office and immediately kiss the ass of corporations and executives. I believe in the socialist movement taking hold in Seattle. The present system is obviously broken. We as citizens have to fight for our schools, families and children.
The entire affair with Seattle CEO Jorge Carrassco giving away $125K worth of copper seems very fishy. My gut tells me he
knew these "Gypsies" from before. Seattle Police investigating? Mayor concerned? Seattle City Council concerned? What a joke. People more concerned about the World Cup and Professional Sports teams and getting their mind programmed by the local media (kiro and the times). Wake up People....

Posted Wed, Jul 2, 8:14 p.m. Inappropriate

The present system (City Light) IS socialism. Wake up.

simorgh

Posted Thu, Jul 3, 8:25 a.m. Inappropriate

New here? Did you mean, "Lie to get in and immediately kiss the ass of public sector unions and indian tribes"?

BlueLight

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