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Portland City Council selects first Salary Commission in a unanimous vote

News Article
Playing a key role in implementing voter-approved changes to Portland’s election system and form of government, the Salary Commission will set pay for the City of Portland’s elected officials.

Earlier today, Portland City Council voted unanimously to approve five commissioners and two alternates with human resources expertise to Portland’s first Salary Commission. These human resource professionals with compensation experience will lead the charge to research and establish salaries for 12 elected councilors, mayor, and auditor in the new form of government as approved by voters.  

“I want to thank those who are stepping forward to serve on this important commission over the next six months,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said at the March 8 City Council meeting. “I appreciate your time, your talent, your energy, your commitment to the City of Portland and your willingness to do this great work.”  

City staff supported Mayor Ted Wheeler in narrowing the field of 13 candidates. Applications received were scored based on five criteria:  

  • Qualified human resource professional 

  • Experience setting pay 

  • Experience working in or with relevant mission-based, nonprofit, public and/or volunteer-driven organizations. 

  • Experience with community engagement or involvement  

  • Experience engaging with diversity, equity and inclusion principles and practices  

The five community members named to Portland’s first Salary Commission are (alphabetical by first name):   

  • Abby Engers 

  • Joni Marie Johnson 

  • Laura Sampson 

  • Maura Cooney 

  • Rosanna Gill 

Alternate members were also appointed and will stand ready to move into a commission role if any of the appointed commissioners are unable to fulfill their duties.  The new alternate members are (alphabetical by first name): 

  • Moya Wong 

  • Rut Martinez-Alicea 

Ballot Measure 26-228, which passed in November 2022, included a package of reforms proposed by the Portland Charter Commission. Portland’s new form of government will consist of 12 city councilors instead of four. The charter reforms also required that the City of Portland’s Bureau of Human Resources lead the work of a Salary Commission every two years to set and evaluate the salaries for all elected positions. 

Recent amendments to the City Charter call for salaries to be adopted by Aug. 1, 2023. To accomplish this mandate, the Salary Commission will:  

  • Conduct 11 meetings between March and August, with public comment opportunities. 

  • Disseminate a public comment survey on draft salary proposals before adoption. 

  • Make recommendations about the methodology of setting salaries for future Salary Commissions to consider. 

The Commission sets the salaries for councilors, the mayor and the auditor with yes votes from at least three commissioners, documenting the basis of its decision. Adjusted salaries take effect July 1 of each odd year -- except for the first Commission’s decisions, which take effect Jan. 1, 2025.   

Visit to learn more about changes underway to the City's election system and form of government. 


Christine Llobregat

Public Information Officer