Monday, May 13, 2013

Roanoke City Council pay raises kicked down the road

Councilman Ray Ferris

All the media scrutiny led Councilman Ray Ferris to frustration saying that “all this discussion [on pay raises] has made us look like buffoons.”

Roanoke City Council puts off pay raise vote until June 3 at 2:00 p.m. council meeting. Councilman Dave Trinkle proposed an 8% to 10% raise versus 15% (Mayor) and 28% (Council) as the ordinance stated on  Monday’s agenda.

Councilman Sherman Lea in a phone call said he thought that the 28% raise was reasonable when taking into account inflation and the 6% cut that will be deducted from their salary for pension and health retirement in 2014 when any raise would take effect. (Council will see a 1% hit in their salary for a year starting July 1 until they get any raise while city employees will get a 1% offset this year along with a 2% pay increase.)

Councilman Sherman Lea

Councilman Sherman Lea

He said Councilman Bill Bestpitch had a point about the General Assembly’s cap on local official’s pay cap of $23,000 and $25,000 (Mayor) not having been adjusted for inflation since 1996. If not when was Lea’s argument. His colleagues are saying the city is on a good financial footing and there is no Roanoke fiscal cliff looming.

“We’re falling behind Roanoke County – at what time do you try to catch that up,” asked Lea. He did think 8-10% was enough because their last raise was so far back. Small increments every two years just doesn’t cut it.

See: Sherman Lea says Council Members Should Donate Their Salary

The ordinance prepared by city attorney Dan Callaghan  was a  motion by Councilman Bill Bestpitch and seconded by Councilman Sherman last week at the May 6 council meeting. It was a 4-3 vote with Vice-Mayor Court Rosen and council members Ray Ferris and Dave Trinkle voting against it.

City Attorney Dan Callaghan

City Attorney Dan Callaghan

On June 3 council  will vote on the 15% and 28% raise as the motion has already been made. Should that  fail there will be a motion to amend presumably for a 10% across the board raise, if that fails than it falls to an 8% raise, then on down the line until there is consensus or council gets no raise at all according to Callaghan.

The mayor’s pay currently stands at $20,000, the Vice Mayor receives $15,688 and council members receive $15,560.

The public can speak on the raises at the May 20 council meeting at 2:00 p.m. or 4 p.m. or both.

The 2014 fiscal year $260 million budget was adopted unanimously as was the capital improvement 5-year debt plan of $124 million.

SEE: Roanoke City Council gets paid to play for their raise

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Finance, Politics, Roanoke City Politics

Tags: ,


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