Port chief's salary on commission's agenda


WALLA WALLA -- The executive director's salary will top a packed Port of Walla Walla agenda Thursday.

Port commissioners will kick off their Thursday meeting with an 8:15 a.m. executive session with an annual performance evaluation for Executive Director Jim Kuntz. The Port's regular session will begin at 9 a.m. The meetings will take place at the Port's administrative office, 310 A St.

Kuntz's annual salary has been criticized by some residents as being too high. Last year commissioners approved a base salary of $134,726 for Kuntz's 2011 wage. They also agreed to pay the executive director $25,000 in "deferred compensation." That amount is given in whole for staying through the year.

Commissioners have said the total amount is on par with executive directors for similarly sized Port districts across the state. However, critics have said that's impossible to know since compensation packages beyond base salaries or ranges are not reported in detail to the Washington Public Ports Association, the agency the Port cites for setting Kuntz's salary. Based on information from the WPPA, it appears Kuntz may be among the highest paid Port directors in the state, they say.

The issue will be one of numerous topics addressed Thursday morning. For more details on the Port agenda see Page A8.


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