The city council preliminarily approved a new ordinance setting the salaries of the mayor’s cabinet, council members, and other high ranking city officials.
Central to the new salary ordinance is a freeze on cost of living increases and an end to longevity pay for high ranking municipal government officials.
“These salaries will be fixed. In the past these individuals were entitled to cost of living raises as well as additional compensation tied to their length of employment and public service,” said Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large.
Longevity, the length of a public servant’s service, which entitles them to additional pay, will be eliminated. Morris, chairman of the council’s finance committee, said the state’s department of community affairs in a memorandum of understanding with the city some time ago has ordered an end to longevity pay for non-contractual municipal employees.
Morris said an employee involved in public service for 20 or 25 years was able to obtain an additional 12-percent pay on top of their salary through longevity. “What we’re saying in this particular ordinance is dating back to when the council approved that memorandum agreement longevity will be frozen at that point,” he said.
The new ordinance sets the salaries as follows:
• Community development director’s salary is set at $92,000
• Economic development director’s salary, $107,000
• Finance director, $140,000
• Fire director (if part-time), $45,000
• Health director, $92,000
• Law director, $122,000
• Police director (if full-time), $92,000
• Police director (part-time), $45,000
• Public works director, $105,000
• Tax assessor, $105,000
• Tax Collector, $75,755
• Mayor, $119,000
• Business administrator, $110,000
• Council president, $42,213 ($1,000 more than other council members)
• Council member, $41,213
• City clerk, $92,000.
Ruby Cotton, 4th Ward councilwoman, asked if any of the employees in the above listed posts were making more than what is listed in the ordinance.
The council will also put in place an ordinance setting the salaries for all municipal employees, said Morris. He said those salaries will be based on ranges from minimum to maximum.
Morris said the maximum salary will be reserved for employees who reside in the city. He indicated the council may not have the power to set the salaries for the tax assessor and the tax collector because they are set by state law.
The new salary ordinance was unanimously adopted last Tuesday by the council.
A public hearing and final approval of the new salary ordinance is set for August 25th, 2015 at 7 p.m.