Salary Commission

The Salary Commission is an independent commission periodically formed to review and establish the salaries of members of the Bellingham City Council. The Salary Commission is a limited-term commission, each commission forming once every eight years and disbanding after its work is complete, in accordance with BMC 2.98.020. Commission members are selected by the Mayor and confirmed by the Bellingham City Council. Each seated commission is anticipated to meet for up to six months, with extended time as needed.

The City of Bellingham is currently recruiting members for the 2022 Salary Commission, which will meet according to the schedule below and is anticipated to complete its work by the end of 2022.

In December 2021, the Bellingham City Council approved Ordinance 2021-12-051 establishing an independent commission to periodically review and establish the salaries of members of the Bellingham City Council, in conformance with RCW 35.21.015.

The Salary Commission will review and fix the salaries and, if appropriate, annual adjustments to salaries, of members of the Bellingham City Council.

The direction of the Salary Commission is final. Bellingham City Council member salary guidance established by the Salary Commission shall become effective and incorporated into the City budget by the Finance Director with no further action by the Salary Commission or the Bellingham City Council.

The Salary Commission shall consist of seven members appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Bellingham City Council.

Each member must be a registered voter and a resident of the City of Bellingham. Members cannot be City employees or their immediate family members.

The City is currently accepting applications for members of the 2022 Salary Commission. First review of applications will begin on August 15, 2022.

Members are anticipated to be appointed to the Salary Commission at the August 29, 2022, Bellingham City Council meeting.

The first meeting of a newly-seated Salary Commission scheduled for September 14, 2022.

Community members who meet the qualifications for appointment may apply by submitting a letter of interest along with the standard City Boards and Commissions application form.


  • Agendas and minutes for Salary Commission meetings (link will be live when first meeting agenda is published)

Meeting Schedule



  • Roster (to be published after commission is appointed)

We are adjusting some City operations due to the current COVID-19 surge, prioritizing essential services and the safety of employees and the public.