10b. Memo

Commission Rate Per Diem Resolution 3811

AGENDA MEMORANDUM                        Item No.          10b 
ACTION ITEM                            Date of Meeting      January 24, 2023 

DATE :     January 11, 2023 
TO:        Stephen P. Metruck, Executive Director 
FROM:    Aaron, Pritchard, Commission Chief of Staff 
SUBJECT:  Adoption of Resolution No. 3811: A Resolution Increasing the Rate of Per Diem
Allowance to Port of Seattle Commissioners, as Provided for by Washington State
Statute RCW 53.12.060(3) 

Amount of this request:                      N/A 
Total estimated project cost:                  N/A 
Request Commission Adoption of Resolution No. 3811: A Resolution Increasing the Rate of Per
Diem Allowance to Port of Seattle Commissioners, as Provided for by Washington State Statute
RCW 53.12.060(3). 
The proposed Resolution enables Port of Seattle Commissioners to increase the number of days
Commissioners may receive per diem and to increase the per diem rate to that set by Washington
State. This is an increase in the per diem allowance Port of Seattle Commissioners can earn from
$128 a day and a maximum of $15,360 per year to $185 a day and a maximum of $37,925 per
year, for a total potential increase of up to $22,565. 
Additional oversight and community engagement by commissioners is needed in order to align
the Port with the region’s needs and values associated with the growing demands of the region’s
aviation and maritime gateways. 
As candidates for Port Commission become more diverse and have more responsibilities to family
and non-Port-related work, it is necessary to recognize that the part-time commissioner position
can be a significant burden for those who are not in retirement or independently wealthy. This
per diem rate increase is intended to encourage candidates from more diverse backgrounds,
while recognizing that the position has grown into a greater-than-part-time position. 

Template revised January 10, 2019.

            COMMISSION AGENDA – Action Item No. 10b                                Page 2 of 3
Meeting Date: January 24, 2023

In 2013 (Resolution 3678) the Commission linked commissioner salary and pay raises to the
Washington State Legislature to establish a base salary and to keep pace with inflation. However,
the rate of the per diem was not linked to legislators per diem allotment. As the workload for
commissioners has increased over the past decade, the per diem allowance has not been
sufficient to cover  the number of days commissioners conduct Port-related work. Most
Commissioners exhaust their current per diem allowance by August, approximately two-thirds of
the way through the year. 
The Washington Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials (WCCSEO) sets the salaries
for state elected officials. According to the WCCSEO website, “State law requires that (the
WCCSEO) base the salaries of the elected officials on realistic standards in order to pay them
according to the duties of their office and to attract citizens of the highest quality to public
The Commission’s action is authorized by RCW 53.12.060(3) and cannot not take effect for any
individual or Commissioner until that person is elected or re-elected. 
The nature of the Port of Seattle Commissioner position has changed over the last decade.
Specifically, the amount of time and number of days commissioners are expected to execute the
duties of the position have significantly increased. Since the passage of resolution 3678 in 2013,
the addition of the Northwest Seaport Alliance to their responsibilities has increased the number
of public meetings, committee meetings, and related briefings by roughly 50%. Similarly,
commissioners are expected to meet with more constituents and stakeholders, prepare for more
meetings, and create more written content than their predecessors. 
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, Washington’s legislators’ per diem is
$185 per day and it is tied to 89% of the federal per diem rate. Aligning commissioners’ per diem
rate to state allowances will increase the daily rate from $128 to $185. This action would also
raise the number of days that a commissioner can earn a per diem from 120 days per year to 205
per year. The combination of the extension of days a commissioner can earn per diem along with
the increase in per diem rate results in the potential additional compensation of $22,565 to what
commissioners can currently earn.
Commissioners commonly have multiple meetings that they are expected to attend during at
least three days a week and often as many as five. Article II of the state constitution provides
that legislators receive compensation “for each day's attendance during the session” and RCW
44.04.120 provides that members may receive an allowance, "in lieu of per diem or any other
payment, for a day or major portion thereof in which he or she is engaged in legislative
business…"  This is how the commissioner per diem operates. Thus, commissioners will not

Template revised June 27, 2019 (Diversity in Contracting).

            COMMISSION AGENDA – Action Item No. 10b                                Page 3 of 3
Meeting Date: January 24, 2023
automatically get any funds. These funds would only be available when they submit requests
based on the days that they take meetings. 
Currently, in addition to the per diem compensation, pursuant to Resolution 3678 and RCW
53.12.260(3), all Port of Seattle Commissioners are paid the same salary as members of the
Legislature of the State of Washington. Unless it is otherwise waived, the current annual salary
for members of the Legislature is set at $57,867, made effective on July 1, 2022.  Unlike State
legislators, Commissioners do not receive retirement benefits. 
Commissioners’ per diems and other expenses are posted on the Port of Seattle website. 
Current and Proposed Rate Equations 
Rate           # of Days Allowed     Total Possible Annual Reward 
Current per Diem          $120                 128                      $15,360 
Proposed per Diem        $185                205                     $37,925 

Approval of the resolution  could result in  an additional $45,130  in 2024 and 2025 if
commissioners submit the maximum in per diem requests and $112,825 in 2026 and beyond. 
(1)   Draft Resolution No. 3811 
(2)   Resolution No. 3678 (Previously Adopted) 
(3)   Presentation 
(1) December 13, 2022 – Introduction of the Resolution 

Template revised June 27, 2019 (Diversity in Contracting).


Limitations of Translatable Documents

PDF files are created with text and images are placed at an exact position on a page of a fixed size.
Web pages are fluid in nature, and the exact positioning of PDF text creates presentation problems.
PDFs that are full page graphics, or scanned pages are generally unable to be made accessible, In these cases, viewing whatever plain text could be extracted is the only alternative.