Top salaries at a publicly-funded hospital in Renton, WA Valley Medical Center, have become intensely controversial since two hospital district commissioners were voted into office. The elected officials call themselves reformers. Others in the community call them troublemakers. The chief executive officer of the hospital, Rich Roodman, is the highest paid public employee in the state of Washington. Last year he made a base salary of $615,000. He also collected a bonus of $201,201 for meeting performance goals. On top of that he was paid $263,335 in a retention payment. The five-member board of commissioners who set Roodman's salary authorizes this annual payment as a way to motivate Roodman to stay on at the hospital. He's been at the helm since 1983. Most companies provide a retention payment as a lump sum once the executive has fulfilled his or her contractual obligation; not on a yearly basis.