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AGO 1951 No. 130 - September 18, 1951
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICT ‑- COMMISSIONERS ‑- SALARY INCREASES

The two commissioners elected in 1946 and 1948 may not receive any increase in compensation during their terms of office.

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                                                              September 18, 1951

Honorable Cliff Yelle
State Auditor
Division of Municipal Corporations
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 130

Attention:  Mr. A. E. Hankins, Chief Examiner

Dear Sir:

            This is to acknowledge your letter of September 11, 1951, in which you requested our opinion concerning salary raises of two public utility district commissioners.

            We quote from your letter as follows:

            "A public utility district elected its commissioners as follows:  one in 1946, another in 1948, and the third in 1950.  On September 11, 1950, the commissioners passed a resolution fixing salary at $10 per day, to be effective December 31, 1950.  Under this resolution the one elected in 1950 has been drawing $10 per day; the other two have been drawing only $6 per day.

            "We respectfully request your opinion as to whether the two commissioners elected in 1946 and 1948, who have been receiving only $6 per day may be paid $10 per day under the resolution passed by the Board."

            Our conclusion may be stated as follows:

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            The two commissioners elected in 1946 and 1948 may not receive any increase in compensation during their terms of office.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Our conclusion in this instance is based upon Article II, section 25 of our State Constitution, which provides in part:

            "* * * nor shall the compensation of any public officer be increased or diminished during his term of office."

            AndState ex rel. Jaspers v. West, 13 Wn. (2d) 514, 125 P. (2d) 694, which held that the above constitutional provision applied to public utility district commissioners.

            Accordingly, you are advised that the commissioners elected in 1946 and 1948 may not receive any increase in compensation, as provided in the resolution, during their present terms of office.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

ROBERT L. SIMPSON
Assistant Attorney General

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