Salary Commission


Once biennially (every other year) this Commission sets a series of meetings early in the year. Their goal is to submit a schedule of salaries to the County Council by May 1st.

The Commission scheduled a series of meetings in early 2015, and the final meeting was concluded on April 16, 2015.  The next series of meetings is will be scheduled in early 2017.

The Salary Commission accepted public comment on Preliminary Salary Placements at their April 16th meeting. Written public comment was also accepted into the record at that time.  Commission business then concluded for 2015 and the Final Salary Placement document was signed and submitted to Whatcom County by Commission members.  View this document here.

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to meetings. Minutes are available following approval.

View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes


The Salary Commission has 10 members.  The following list of members have terms that will expire 12/31/16.  Currently a new roster of members is being formed and this list will be updated in October of 2016:

Member Position Email Address Phone
Mike Arbiter District #2 Email 2621 Moore Street, Bellingham, WA 98226 360-739-4763
Jesse Berg District #3 Email 8394 Kickerville Rd, Blaine, WA 98230 360-332-1678
Kristi Birkeland District #1 Email 854 Douglas Ave, Bellingham, WA 98229 360-647-7523
Robert Carmichael

Legal Profession


Email 1700 D Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 360-647-1500
Thom A. Fischer
District 1
613 Linden Road
Bellingham, WA 98225
Allan Jensen
Organized Labor
Email 7168 Ashley Court
Ferndale, WA 98248
Brian Lydiard Business



1463 Glen Cove Lane, Bellingham, WA 98229 360-671-4537
George J. Plucinski
District 2
Email 761 Sunrise Drive
Lynden, WA 98264
Peter Schroeder
District 3
Email 5935 Shannon Ave, Ferndale, WA 98248
Kara Turner
Personnel Management
Email 441 E Wiser Lake Road
Lynden, WA 98264
Of the 10 members, 6 were selected by lot by the County Auditor from among those registered voters eligible to vote at the time persons were selected for appointment to full terms on the commission. Of these 6, 2 were selected from each of the 3 County Council districts.

Of the 10 Commission members, 4 are selected and appointed by the County Executive. All 4 of these appointees have experience in personnel management, and 1 member was selected from each of the following fields of expertise:
  • Business
  • Legal profession
  • Organized labor
  • Professional personnel management,
Term Limit
  • 2 consecutive full terms
Term Length
  • 2 years
The purpose of the Salary Commission is to fix the salaries of the County Council, Executive, Assessor, Auditor, Prosecuting Attorney, Sheriff, and Treasurer in accordance with the county code, county charter and state law. The Commission shall study the relationship of salaries to the duties of the elected officials and fix the salary for each position. Except as provided in this chapter, the Commission shall be solely responsible for its own organization, and shall enjoy the fullest cooperation of all elected officials, departments, and agencies of the county.

Date of Formation
  • February 28, 2012