Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Roanoke city employee pay raises far outpace city council’s

FACTSOne of those pesky facts that have been left out of the discussion regarding city council pay raises. Thanks to the director of finance, Anne Shawver’s response for adding clarity to the discussion.

At the May 1 Roanoke City Council meeting either not heard by other media or ignored Shawver off the top of her head said that council had received a 5% over the last 10 years (two of those years it was rolled back to 2004 level). Click HERE for why.

Shawver guessed that city employees over those same 10 years had received a 25% raise. After careful calculation she responded today that it was actually a cumulative 23.5% for city employees.

They will receive a 2% raise this year, a 1% raise to compensate for health retirement contribution for a total of 3%. Next year they will also start contributing 5% to their pension (July 2014) for which they will receive at least a 5% increase to compensate assuming they get no other raise.

The Mayor over 10 years has received a salary increase was 5.2%, and city council members received 5.3%.

in FY08, a higher level of pay was set for Vice Mayor, $1,000 more than City Council members so that turned out to be 12.1%. All this averages out at a yearly average rate .5% for the Mayor and council members and 1.2% for Vice-Mayor for the past 10 years.

Employees over the last 10 years averaged a 2.4% pay increase per year.

CLICK HERE for the YEAR by YEAR analysis by Ann Shawver.

Comments, and Roanoke Times Editorials and Dan Casey have made hay over the 28% pay raise for council members at $20,000 (take 6% off for pension and health contributions leaving actually 22%). The Mayor who has received the brunt of the criticism would get a raise to $23,000 which equates to a 15% raise (minus the 6% pension and health contribution is actually 9%).

As comments from citizens complaining that city employees received less than council has received over the past 10 years they are sorely mistaken and The Roanoke Times has failed to correct their perception. or more cynically don’t want them to know.

Whether they deserve any raises at all and citizens think they are all buffoons as council member Ray Ferris remarked on Monday that is citizens prerogative. Take into consideration “actual facts” ignored by other media.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Commentary, Finance, Politics, Roanoke City Politics

Tags: ,

Comments (5)

Jeff Artis

May 15th, 2013 at 9:31 AM    

That may be true. But city employees don’t have campaign funds to offset their expenses. In Va., campaign funds are almost like a tax free personal bank account.


May 15th, 2013 at 9:54 AM    

Depending on the official and their connections they may have received more contributions to their campaign than others.

I know some have outstanding loans according to their filing. That was money over and above any contributions. At one time (haven’t checked lately) Bestpitch has floated himself a $5000 loan. Don’t know it that has been taken care of or not.

Bowers when he ran as an independent spent $15,000 of his own money.

Now they do get some expense reimbursement to events and stuff.

Jeff, that is why Roanoke County’s School Board gets a salary and Roanoke City School Board get a stipend. The county is elected and the city is appointed.

To run for office not only takes money but it is pain, exhausting and financially draining.

Bubba Greene

May 16th, 2013 at 7:17 PM    

Hi there Val! Missed connecting with you since the RT’s cut you off. Now, I thought Jeff A was a little more “solid” than his comment reflects. I suppose when you have millions in your campagin account one may think of it as “personal” but it’s all subject to specific rules and presumed open accountability. But as far a city council in Roanoke Va goes, I tend to believe there is typically a shortfall and that it tends to be made up by personal funds. Tell us Val, when you ran for council did you have any left over? Did you have sufficient funds to do ANYTHING you wanted? Did you put any persoanl money in the effort? Was there a Daddy Bigbucks who covered what was needed? IF you would have had more, might the outcome been different? Now I suppose if I really wanted those answere I can secure it for myself so really it’s not all that important…other than to underscore that Mr. A’s comment is rooted in something other than common knowledge.


May 16th, 2013 at 10:26 PM    

Just checked and the BRC and my blog is still on the RT.

Are you kidding? I was in the hole with my personal money. No daddy for me. Yes if I had more the outcome would have been different. That applies to everyone especially first time candidates who need to get their name out.

It doesn’t help either when the party is against you too.

Bubba Greene

May 18th, 2013 at 6:13 AM    

OK, so now just wondering. Financial support is essential to victory it would seem. And unless you are a very wealthy person outside money is also essential.(But even the wealthy seek outside support.) And if you are a liberal it does not matter who gives it and where it comes from. BUT if you are a conservative, the IRS should investigate you, RIGHT?

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