Steve Novick, who is running for re-election, turns down cost of living adjustment.
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Portland Commissioner Steve Novick, who is running for re-election, turned down a cost of living adjustment that would’ve added about $10,000 to his salary.
This is the third-straight year he has decided to not take the COLA, saying to Oregonian and Portland Tribune reporters he won’t do so “until the voters have had a chance to give me my evaluation next year.”
The five elected City Council members are eligible for 2.1 percent cost of living adjustments this year, in line with the annual increase granted to union employees and non-union staff. City Commissioners and the mayor have the option to freeze their salaries or accept the wage increase, effective July 1. The three remaining City Commissioners’ salary now increases to $113,128, while Mayor Charlie Hales’ compensation jumps to $134,323.
Novick’s salary remains at $103,521. According to human resources staff, Novick must take the current rate for his position — $113,128 — or stand pat. When asked whether he’d accept a raise in future years, Novick said that depends. “Not if there’s a recession and we’re cutting budgets again. Otherwise, maybe; it’ll be a year by year decision,” he said in an email.
Nick Fish and Amanda Fritz both said they’ve declined a COLA during economic downturns but would be accepting it this year.