The city council is looking to give community improvement director David Gilmore a salary boost for his work in bettering his division over the past year.
Gilmore is credited with building an effective division and stepping up code enforcement in the city. He was hired by mayor Jose “Joey” Torres in March of 2015. His salary last fiscal year was $52,500. In fiscal year 2017, the administration is budgeting $55,713 for his salary.
Council members said many of his subordinates receive much higher pay than the director. Business administrator Nellie Pou responded that is due to longevity pay. She said some of those employees have been working for the city for years.
“The chief housing inspector is almost on par with the director. You got keyboarding clerks that are making more than 50-percent of what the person responsible for the overall operations is making,” said Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large, on Wednesday evening. “Organizational fairness and parity is not happening here. What it leads to is loss of talent, folks no longer incentivized for doing their job well, and disrespect from subordinates once they find out, ‘Hey, I make more than you.’”
Michael Jackson, 1st Ward councilman, asked economic development director Ruben Gomez, about Gilmore’s performance. Gomez said Gilmore has “outperformed” others in the department.
“Is the division functioning any better?” asked Jackson. Gomez said the number of calls complaining about permit delays and poor treatment at the division has gone down. “I don’t receive as many calls as I did,” he said.
“The director in question lives local and works beyond the required hours,” said Jackson. Gilmore is known for patrolling the city to find illegal construction jobs being performed by unscrupulous developers during the weekend when inspectors are off from work.
“This administration does not care to ensure we embrace the talent that’s here. It’s more about who you know,” remarked Jackson.
“I don’t think that’s a fair statement,” responded the business administrator at the budget hearing.
Morris suggested taking funds from other items in the departmental budget and boosting the director’s salary to $64,987.
The business administrator told council members increasing employee pay is an administrative function. The council sets the salaries for the mayor’s department directors through ordinance, but not for division directors.