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Special investigative committee on pay practices formed by Sunnyside mayor

Sunnyside Mayor Jim Restucci, at this past Monday's city council workshop, appointed a temporary special investigative committee to review pay practices.

He appointed Deputy Mayor Nick Paulakis as the committee chairman. Council members Theresa Hancock and Don Vlieger will also serve on the committee.

The committee will review all employee payroll changes from 2007 to 2010 and identify any pay grade and step changes. Supporting documentation for changes will also be reviewed.

The committee will also coordinate with the city manager to identify shortfalls in the process for increasing or decreasing employee pay and recommend any necessary changes to the current pay practices policy.

Also, the committee is tasked to identify any illegalities or violations of policy, as well as recommend a course of action to the Sunnyside City Council.

The investigative committee on pay practices has 30 days from Dec. 6, 2010 to conduct its investigation.

A written report of findings and recommendations, according to Restucci, will be provided to the city council in an open public meeting. It will also be published, as required by the Washington State Public Records Act.

Restucci told the Daily Sun News, "When council began reviewing the (2011-12) proposed budget, we noticed a number of changes in payroll...council wanted a review of the process to better understand it."

The committee must have the city manager present, if any subordinate of the city manager is to be interviewed, according to Restucci.

He said testimony from city employees is permissible, but must be held in a lawful manner. Those meetings must be open to the public.

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