At Monday morning’s work session city council hashed out what looked like a 10% raise instead of the proposed 28.5% raise that four members voted on at the previous council meeting. The 4-3 vote required a second reading at Monday’s 2:00 p.m. meeting.
The members who voted in favor of 28.5% increase last month were council members Sherman Lea, Anita Price and Bill Bestpitch (the original author) and Mayor Bowers. Lea wavered and caved to citizen pressure. The others were close behind as citizen outrage poured in. Bestpitch gave his history lesson again on how city council was way behind city employees raises. SEE HERE.
Trinkle said that the 28.5% raise was “way out of whack with anything we are doing for employees.” The 10% increase in council pay “doesn’t saddle future councils with an ever growing gap that may create another discussion like we just had … let’s not do a lot of math here,” he said at the morning work session.
Lea, Ferris and Vice-Mayor Court Rosen thought an 8% raise would make them even with city employees. Finance director Ann Shawver reminded them that they will be losing 1% until July 2014 and that actually 10% would make them whole.
Ferris worried about media “headlines” – “Council votes themselves a 10% raise” and citizens will not understand that it actually 2%.
At the 2:00 p.m. meeting the 28.5% raise on second reading was voted down unanimously as agreed to at the work session. But the final vote was again 4-3 for a 10% raise. This time Lea, Rosen and Ferris voted against it. Again there will be a second reading and if no one changes their mind again the hope is the pay raise groundhog will not see his shadow again for another two years.
The difference between an 8% annual raise and a 10% raise is just over $300 annually. Splitting hairs over perception – good grief.
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Politics, Roanoke City Politics