Mindy Chambers

Top Cop Search Stops… AGAIN

Top Cop Search Stops… AGAIN

The city of Olympia’s “preferred candidate” to be its next police chief dropped out of the running Thursday, dealing another blow to its two-plus year search for a permanent chief. The move came the day before Kenton Buckner resigned as chief of the Syracuse, N.Y., Police Department, where he had served for just over three years. Buckner's resignation was not mentioned in a late-morning news release from the city on Friday announcing it was again pausing its police chief search.  The release contained this statement from Buckner: "Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the search for a Chief of Police…
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Council To Approve City Manager Raise

Council To Approve City Manager Raise

More than four months after it took effect, the Olympia City Council will officially approve an  $8,050 yearly salary increase for City Manager Jay Burney. The council had failed to vote to approve the raise after discussing his performance evaluation on January 11. State law requires that approval of such increases take place in an open public meeting, which in this case will be Tuesday night’s council meeting. Burney’s salary is now $205,000. The amendment to his employment contract for approval makes the pay raise retroactive to January 1, 2022, when he began receiving it. Until the council agenda was published…
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Olympia’s City Manager Gets Pay Bump Over $200K

Olympia’s City Manager Gets Pay Bump Over $200K

Eight months after he got a pay increase, City Manager Jay Burney got another one. The Olympia City Council gave Burney an $8,050 yearly salary increase starting January 1, bringing his annual salary to $205,000. His last pay increase, of $1,950 per year, was in mid-May of 2021, which brought his salary to $196,950. The council appointed him as city manager in May 2020 at a salary of $195,000. He’d spent the previous ten years as assistant city manager. Information on Burney’s salary history was available only through a public record request from The Olympia Tribune the city required before…
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Olympia Council Gets Pay Increase

Olympia Council Gets Pay Increase

The city of Olympia’s Salary Commission quietly voted last year to increase the pay of the city’s mayor, mayor, mayor pro-tem, and councilmembers by more than 3 percent and to hike their benefits package. The new salaries are: Mayor: $27,114.92, with $5,546,78 in benefits. Previous pay was $26,301.78 and $3,807.84 in benefits.Mayor pro-tem (performs the duties as needed): $24,855.17, with $5,546,78 in benefits. Previous pay was $24,109.81 and $3,807.84 in benefits.Councilmembers: $22,595.42, with $5,546,78 in benefits. Previous pay was $21,918.17 and $3,807.84 in benefits. The benefits portion includes increasing the city-paid amount of medical insurance premiums and 100 percent for…
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More OPD Police Chief Finalists, More Problems

More OPD Police Chief Finalists, More Problems

Two of the city of Olympia’s three finalists for chief of its Police Department have been named in legal actions referencing hostile workplace issues, and one has been sued over allegations of racism and discrimination.  Kenton Buckner Finalist Kenton Buckner, police chief in Syracuse New York, has been named in several legal actions in his 28 years in law enforcement. He had previously had worked in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Louisville. He was sued last year by a Syracuse police officer for racism and discrimination. Buckner has denied the claims. When he was in Little Rock, he was among those…
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Sweeps Week in Olympia

Sweeps Week in Olympia

It started Wednesday, and when all is said and done, more than 100 people will be living in new places by the end of the day, December 16. Where those places might be is both a short-term and a long-term question. Before daylight on Wednesday morning, the first of over 30 dumpsters began to arrive. They would be filled with thousands of pounds of tents, tarps, and other belongings during the city's sweep. The camp had been nestled along a half-mile-long strip of Deschutes Parkway, along Capitol Lake, for over two years. As the sun rose over the capital dome…
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The Ho-Ho-Hobos are Back!

The Ho-Ho-Hobos are Back!

Ho-Ho-Hobos has a stand at the gazebo at Percival Landing Undaunted by storage and supply chain issues (wreath frames, of all things), a vehicle breakdown, and at one point threatened with a trespassing order by the city of Olympia, the Hobos’ seventh year in business is off to a booming start. Founded on the principles of creating jobs and connections for the street community, the Hobos put the artistry of its makers front and center. New this year: More pay for wreath-makers, and brightly painted holiday ornaments. The ornament-making “ties in with the potential for being transformative. Same with the…
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Port Bucks: Olympia Port Candidates Will Top $200k in Fundraising

Port Bucks: Olympia Port Candidates Will Top $200k in Fundraising

While fundraising by the four candidates seeking election to the Port of Olympia Commission pales in comparison to that of Olympia City Council candidates, it’s by no means insignificant. The four first-time candidates vying for the two Port Commission seats in the Nov. 2 general election have raised nearly $169,664. Add to the total the $13,450-plus spent by a candidate who did not make it through the primary, and the total is $183,117. Here’s a position-by-position look, based on state Public Disclosure Commission records The Olympia Tribune reviewed on October 18. The links take you to contributions and expenditures the…
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Olympia City Council Position 4

Olympia City Council Position 4

WATCH: League of Women Voters candidate forum. Editor's Note: Campaign contributions and expenditures are the amounts reported to the state Public Disclosure Commission as of October 20. Clark Gilman Raised: $14,098. Spent: $3,910 Full list of contributions and expenditures. Campaign information: Website, Facebook In your last conversation with a homeless person, what did you talk about? What did you learn? How will that influence your actions on issues that come before the City Council? In my last conversation with an unhoused person we talked with a resident about the potential relocation of the Mitigation Site. I learned that hot water in the community kitchen…
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The Tribune’s Olympia Election Guide

The Tribune’s Olympia Election Guide

On November 2nd, Olympia residents will elect five people to their City Council. In the successful candidates’ future: debate and discussion over issues the city has been wrestling with for years (that the COVID-19 pandemic has made even more acute): affordable housing, homelessness, racism, income inequality, struggling small businesses, communications, public perception of the city’s downtown, lack of mental health services, public safety and policing – the list goes on and on and on. The 10 people running for the five seats up for election on Nov. 2 likely are the most diverse in the city’s history: Four of them…
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