Salary Commission

As authorized by RCW 35.21.015, in 2005 the City of Kirkland established a Salary Commission to set the salaries of the Mayor and City Council Members. The Salary Commission is made up of three community members who are appointed for staggered terms by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council

Next Salary Commission Meeting

The Salary Commission is holding a meeting on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, 5:00 p.m. to receive public input and discuss possible adjustments to the salaries of the Mayor and Council Members. The meeting will be conducted via Zoom. Members of the public can also call 1 206 337 9723 US (Seattle) or Toll Free at 888 475 4499 US

Meeting Packet Materials:  2021 Salary Commission Meeting Packet(PDF, 304KB)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 989 3664 1284

Passcode: 524052

Public comment may be given at the meeting or may be submitted in writing to: Salary Commission c/o City Attorney’s Office at 123 Fifth Avenue, Kirkland, WA 98033 or email prior to 5:00 p.m. on Sept. 27, 2021.

The Salary Commission meets not less than one time per year, during the months of August or September. Meetings start at 5:00 PM.

Meet the Salary Commissioners

Karen Champagne - term expires 3/31/24

 Karen Champagne's Photo

 Karen Champagne 

 Karen Champagne joined the Salary Commission in the spring of 2021. Karen appreciates the opportunity to get more involved locally and continues to look for ways to leverage her past experiences and expertise for the benefit of the whole community. Karen and her husband have lived in Kirkland since 2010, although they met at Washington State University back in the 19080s when Robert lived in Renton and Karen lived in Kent.

 Karen's work background is financial operations and has recently retired after more than 20 years at Boeing in Everett. Prior to that, she worked for the City of Spokane, first in Utility Billing and then as the Court Clerk. 

Karen completed her advanced degrees while working full-time (she was the top graduate of her MBA program while also working for the City of Spokane and even completed an MS in Computer Systems at City University while at Boeing). She is currently in the JD program and a Law Review Associate at Mitchell-Hamline in St. Paul, Minnesota with an expected May 2022 graduation!

Karen is a voracious reader, enjoys spending time with her new granddaughter, and is willing to pack a suitcase for a new adventure!

Peter Merz - term expires 3/31/23


Pete Merz

Pete Merz joined the Salary Commission in June 2020.  A resident of Kirkland since 1998, Pete is grateful to have the opportunity to serve the City of Kirkland to promote transparency and help ensure our compensation structure for the city’s leadership is fair, competitive, and continues to attract the outstanding talent our city has benefited from over the years. Pete’s background is in corporate finance and includes employment with IBM Corporation for over 40 years.  During that career Pete have served in a variety of geography and subsidiary managerial and executive CFO roles, including 14 years assigned overseas in Asia.  Pete hopes to use that experience to serve and provide value to this wonderful community that he feels fortunate to raise his family in.  Pete’s schooling includes graduating with a B.S. in Business in 1980 from SUNY Fredonia and in 1983 receiving an MBA from Pace University in NYC.  During Pete’s free time he’s involved with Scouts, BSA and gets his whistle out as a soccer referee covering both high school and club soccer programs in King County.



Sara Oppler - term expires 3/31/2022







Sara Oppler

I am an experienced Human Resources professional who has primarily worked in the non-profit sector.  Currently I am the Business Operations Director for a small local non-profit.  After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science I lived in Montana and South Africa before returning to my home state of Washington.  I enjoy using my knowledge and skills to benefit the community where I live and raise my family.