Zandamela not going quietly

Paul Zandamela’s time on the Battle Ground City Council is drawing to a close, but he is not leaving quietly. Big surprise there, eh?

I called Zandamela last week seeking a comment about Battle Ground City Manager John Williams’ 2.5-percent pay raise for 2012. That story about city administrator/city manager’s salaries will run in Tuesday’s newspaper.

Zandamela described himself as “stunned” Williams was in line for a raise, even though he praised the job the city manager had done since taking over in March 2010.

Some people I spoke with attributed raises for Williams and other Clark County administrators and managers to the need to keep other cities from offering better pay, I told Zandamela.

“We have higher property taxes and utility taxes because we’re afraid he’s going to leave?” Zandamela replied. “That’s ridiculous. That’s fiscally irresponsible.”

Battle Ground Mayor Mike Ciraulo questioned how Zandamela could be stunned about Williams’ raise. Zandamela was on the council when it approved salary increases for 2011-2012, Ciraulo said.

Zandamela said he did not know who approved Williams’ raise.

“I’ve been on the council four years and the agreement, for all the meetings I’ve attended, was no one was getting a raise,” Zandamela said.

Zandamela touted his tough stances on economic matters, such as voting against the city’s budget all four years, as something that would be missing when he departed the council at year’s end.

“What’s lost on that council is someone to speak up about fiscal responsibility,” Zandamela said, adding that did not mean he was the “best” council member.

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