Click here to access The Columbian’s database of public-employee salaries in Clark County.Vancouver City Manager Eric Holmes’ 3.5-percent salary increase raised some eyebrows earlier this month. It turns out Holmes has plenty of company. In fact, his pay bump is not the highest among local top city administrators.After being frozen in recent years due to the economic swoon, salaries of top city leaders across Clark County are beginning to thaw in 2012.Four of the five city CEOs in Clark County will receive pay increases in 2012, whether through planned merit increases or pre-negotiated raises secured for city employees across the board. These raises do not include cost of living adjustments, which remain frozen in order to save money.Clark County commissioners will decide in January whether County Administrator Bill Barron will receive a raise in 2012. Barron currently makes $174,252 a year and receives an additional 7.25 percent for a deferred compensation program.Awarding pay raises to public leaders is important because it lessens the chance of a more affluent city or private company poaching them and, symbolically, makes the employees feel more appreciated, said Mark Stephan, a political science professor at Washington State University Vancouver.