Four months into the new year and Port of Olympia Executive Director Ed Galligan finally won a raise for 2017 from the commission Monday.
The port commission voted 2-1 in favor of the 2 percent increase, which increased his salary from $148,168 in 2016 to $151,132 in 2017. Commissioners Bill McGregor and Joe Downing voted in favor of the increase. Commissioner E.J. Zita said she was opposed to it.
Monday’s agenda item on Galligan was a buttoned-down and somewhat confusing affair.
The commission met in executive session prior to the meeting — one of several executive sessions the commission has had to discuss Galligan’s 2016 performance — and emerged in time for the 5:30 p.m. commission meeting.
By the time the commission was ready to take action on Galligan’s salary, Downing explained how executive sessions work and the types of topics discussed in the closed-door meetings. Then he read a statement, which included: “As commission president, I request that there be no discussion of personnel matters at this public meeting.”
But he then asked if there was public comment from the audience, then turned to fellow commissioners for discussion.
The room fell silent until Zita spoke up.
“This appears to preclude discussion,” she said about Downing’s statement.
By then Downing had called for a vote and the motion to raise Galligan’s salary was approved. Zita said she was simply opposed to it.
After the meeting, Downing said to evaluate Galligan, he looked at the port’s return on revenue, the Port of Olympia property tax burden compared to other ports and determined the port is “holding its own in terms of financial viability.”
“The trend is positive,” he said. “The port is moving in the right direction and diversifying its cargoes.”
He said that morale is good at the port and that Galligan has hired good people.
“He’s adequately moving the port forward,” Downing said.
McGregor also praised Galligan and pointed out that he did not receive a raise in 2016.
“I think he’s done a good job, an adequate job,” he said.
McGregor said port employees like working for Galligan.
Zita, however, decided not to comment after the meeting, citing Downing’s request.
“I’m going to take him at his word,” she said.