To lure top staff, Mayor-elect Ed Murray’s incoming administration is paying top dollar. Salaries for some of the new hires that Murray announced on Wednesday are increasing between 14 and 40 percent, compared to those offered during Mayor Mike McGinn’s early days in office.
The boosted salaries are necessary to bag highly qualified applicants for upper-level city jobs and reflect improved economic conditions, according to one of Murray's transition team co-chairs.
Among the highest earning new hires that Murray announced on Wednesday are interim Seattle Department of Transportation Director Goran Sparrman, who will make $176,000 a year, and Personnel Director Susan Coskey, who will be paid $175,000 annually. By comparison, Peter Hahn was offered $155,000 in yearly pay when McGinn hired him as SDOT's director in 2010, and Personnel Director Dave Stewart, who the mayor hired in April 2011, was paid $142,000. Murray's deputy mayors, the director of the forthcoming Office of Policy and Innovation, and the budget director will receive $170,000 per year. Salaries for the other nine new hires announced on Wednesday range from $116,000 to $160,000.