The citizens’ commission that determines salaries for Thurston’s county commissioners has two openings — one for a person with business experience to serve as the commission’s “Business Representative” and one for somebody with legal experience to serve as its “Legal Profession Representative.”
Beyond having the final say on salaries for the county’s three commissioners, the 10-member Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials also recommends salaries to the board for Thurston’s elected Assessor, Auditor, Clerk, Coroner, Prosecuting Attorney, Sheriff, and Treasurer, according to the county’s website.
For 2019, the citizens’ commission set each county commissioner’s salary at $121,956, according to the county’s salary chart. The same salary was approved for the Assessor, Auditor, Clerk, Coroner, and Treasurer. The county sheriff is making $146,160; and the prosecuting attorney is making $181,779, 50 percent of which is paid by the state, according to the chart.
Two members of the commission are selected from each County Commissioner District by lot by the County Auditor, according to the county’s website, and the remaining four slots -- including the slots open right now — are selected by the Board of County Commissioners to represent specific community sectors.
In addition to having experience working in the appropriate field, applicants for the two current openings also should have experience “in the field of personnel management,” be registered to vote in Thurston County, and can’t work for or have an immediate family member who works for the county, according to a county spokesperson.
In total, over 300 citizens volunteer on boards and commissions in Thurston County, according to the county’s website.
Commissioner Tye Menser, who told The Olympian he volunteered with the Water Conservancy Board for 3.5 years before he ran for public office, said these boards work on issues that the Board of County Commissioners simply doesn’t have the time to work on, and can help guide the board with subject-matter expertise.