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City Employee Making $133K Received $26K Raise in Six Installments Over One Year

Posted on October 26, 2017

City Employee Making $133K Received $26K Raise in Six Installments Over One Year

Documents obtained by Tallahassee Reports show that a City of Tallahassee employee in the Underground Utilities department received a $26,000 raise in six installments over a period of 12 months.

The employee, Tim Potter is  the “Manager of Operations for Underground Utility and Public Infrastructure.” In July 2017, a number of city employees were fired in the Underground Utilities department as a cost cutting measure.

Several sources have told TR that Mr. Potter initiated a trip to City Manager Rick Fernandez’s house with another city employee to repair a pool pump when Mr. Fernandez was over the Underground Utilities department.

Records show that the job description and pay band were changed to facilitate the raises. The raises were approved by City Manager Rick Fernandez.

Also, Potter’s supervisor, Mike Tadros, previously received a $40,000 raise in June, 2016.

Documents show that Mr. Potter’s salary on September 16, 2016 was $108,000. Potter’s salary was increased through six separate adjustments ending with a salary of $133,895 as of September 16, 2017.

A review of Mr. Potter’s application and his LinkedIn account shows that he graduated from Loudon High School in 1986 and has no other degrees. He has worked with the City of Tallahassee since 2000.

An email sent to Human Resources in November 2016 (the pay adjustments were retroactive to 9/16/16) by an official in the City’s Underground Utilities department stated:

It is recommended that the Manager-Underground Utilities Construction and Operations job class be evaluated regarding its placement in the Pay Plan hierarchy.  It is believed that the Director class in Band “D” is the more appropriate place in the Pay Plan hierarchy.  Also an equity pay adjustment to bring Mr. Potter’s pay in accordance with this request.

Tim Potter is the current and sole job class incumbent.

The email also explained the rationale for the raise.

Potter’s job responsibilities have steadily evolved since he was reclassified to the position in 2009.  Since then, he has been assigned approximately 124 additional positions along with the added responsibility for construction, maintenance and repair of city streets, street painting, city sidewalks, traffic signs, drainage facilities and related capital projects.  He is also responsible for the capital and operating budgets associated with the positions and expanded job assignment.

57 Responses to City Employee Making $133K Received $26K Raise in Six Installments Over One Year

  1. James Reply

    October 26, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    I think the City of Tallahassee need to mimic Florida has the right to know and see who else is getting rich in City Government.

  2. Computer Dude Reply

    October 26, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    I don’t see why they can’t be fire or demoted. If a laborer or driver would have done something similar they would be fired and not demoted.

  3. News_Maven Reply

    October 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    So, our Potters Field is in high cotton.
    Thanks to the uninformed voters.

  4. JS Reply

    October 26, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    no college degree, working for city government YET STILL making $133K/yr…. now I can see why they can’t afford the other employees they fired….SMH!

    • Tonya Reply

      October 30, 2017 at 10:04 pm

      Without people like Potter you’d be without water, sewer, trash pickup, and electricity-just to name a few of the services that I’m sure you enjoy as a Tallahassee citizen. People with trades DESERVE to make good money just as much as a college graduate. He’s WORKED HARD all his life doing jobs that most college degreed people deem beneath them – that’s how he got where he is, from hard work. Don’t belittle Potter or anyone else that earns a decent income without a college degree.

      • DavidB Reply

        November 1, 2017 at 12:30 pm

        Sorry Tonya, why is Mr. Potter doing pool repairs for Hernandez on the people’s dime?

        • Jimbo Reply

          November 1, 2017 at 1:16 pm

          David, this is Mr. Jacksons version of the story. He hears just what he wants to hear and doesn’t find out the truth before publishing it.

          • Tonya

            November 1, 2017 at 5:00 pm

            I agree Jimbo. The full story is not provided. Mr. Potter is entitled to a lunch break. There’s no evidence of a City PCard being used for the purchase… Who’s to say Mr. Potter didn’t do the repair on his time and dime. I’m not saying this is what happened but what if…?

  5. VOTEthemOUT Reply

    October 26, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    So sad the real workers barely get by and don’t get raises for any reason other than the measly COLA each year which is eaten up by insurance premiums. The higher ups’ wallets get fatter and fatter while the corruption gets worse and worse. And getting away with it. Omg. You just think you know someone. Wow. The City is embarrassing and I have to admit I’m appalled to say I’ve worked there 30 years.

    People it’s time to VOTE the criminals out. Do your part. VOTE.

    • Dr Erwin Jackson Reply

      October 26, 2017 at 11:14 pm

      Don’t wait to vote. Join me (Dr. Erwin Jackson) at the next city commission meeting! Demand Fernandez be fired!

      • J_Willigher Reply

        October 30, 2017 at 6:28 pm

        So no one is entitled to due process?! We’re you asked to surrender your property management business after violating election/campaign laws?

  6. Snidely Whiplash Reply

    October 26, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Potter’s job included overseeing that sidewalk that Gil Ziffer’s wifey stubbed her dainty toe on resulting in COT paying Gil Ziffer a $100,000.00 settelment.
    WAY TO GO POTTER !!!!

  7. Vernon Reply

    October 26, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Hey now…if they can’t reward city employees with a CRA contract, they have to have a way to “reward” those that scratch their back…you never know when another pool pump will go out…or heaven forbid…a slab leak!

    And on his measly 200K plus salary Rick can hardly afford to pay for it himself. Come on people…have a heart.

  8. Carla Trowbridge Reply

    October 26, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    The violent crime rate climbs ever higher and the city is at an impasse offering 3% per year pay raises for police officers. Corruption, greed, and incompetence. Meanwhile, citizens suffer..and democrats continue to dominate local government.

  9. Miriam Reply

    October 26, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    The only thing that comes close to this is Superintendent Hanna appointing five associate superintendents without an interview. I’m sure if you follow the emails and phone calls leading up to the election one could uncover compromising conversations which would lead one to believe that hiring of five associate superintendent without so much as an interview is strange at best.

    Superintendent also demoted tw principals from without any due process. One of which was the daughter-in-law of someone who ran against him. Things are strange not only in City Hall but in Leon County Schools

    • Not Jackie Reply

      October 28, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      There is more going on Jackie, um Miriam, with these assistant superintendents. I am not overly concerned about many things but when they go out and intentionally hurt children and ruin families, well let’s say I agree that we should keep talking about this. Let’s hope Rocky makes some changes so kids and families can benefit instead of the LCS politicians (which is what the asst superintendents are at the end of the day).

  10. Typical Reply

    October 26, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    I would rather pay him than Ric Fernandez, Bill Proctor, Nancy Miller, Andrew Gillum and the rest of the crooked COT team.

    • L. D. Reply

      October 26, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      With all his responsibilities it seems like he is not paid enough. Don’t judge him unless you have walked in his shoes

      • Barfly Reply

        October 27, 2017 at 10:00 am

        OR you could pay two college grads 60k each to handle that work load. Not paid enough? No College degree? please help me with your logic. Please talk to any public school teacher or first responder with that argument!

        • DavidB Reply

          November 1, 2017 at 12:37 pm

          College degree isn’t everything. I work with idiots that have a college degree.

    • Mike Reply

      October 27, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      Exactly at least he is doing something productive unlike our lard brick worthless commissioners.

  11. Kathy Reply

    October 26, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    I think this is a prime example of stealing!
    Rick Fernandez is constantly using his City position to get Freebies and Personal
    Discounts. Way to go City Commission! You all should be Fired!

  12. Steven Hougland Reply

    October 27, 2017 at 7:28 am

    And this is why our property taxes go up every year and the city now has an $800 million budget.

  13. RetiredConsultant Reply

    October 27, 2017 at 8:39 am

    As a former consultant and analyst in the HR comp/class space I observe that certain job functions warrant placement in a higher class of job. If it is, in fact, true that the position took on the responsibilities outlined in City HR’s response (being responsible for oversight of 100+ additional employees, budget development and implementation, etc) then this is certainly reflective of an executive/director level pay grade. This is HR 101. If there are any SHRM certified readers out there, they will agree with me.

    The link to Fernandez is unfortunate and given this connection, it is easy to view the raise as nefarious. I’m only pointing out that there are often times, objective reasons to reclassify a position when it takes on additional duties. Had they not reclassified Mr. Potter’s position the alternative would be to hire an additional executive level leader to take on the responsibilities of management and fiscal oversight that he apparently (allegedly?) has taken over. This would have likely cost the city between $125,000 and $175,000 plus the cost of benefits which can easily crest 30%. (Total comp as high as $227,000) With that in consideration, a $26,000 raise seems like a bargain when compared to nearly 9 times as much expense from a new-hire.

    • justanotherdumbelectrician Reply

      October 27, 2017 at 11:09 am

      That’s what I was thinking. Seems like a lot of responsibility for the pay so nothing to see here. For the record I do believe RF is corrupt. And to all the people complaining about no degree… guess what… you don’t need a degree to make money doing work in a trade. Like it or not, you need us to keep your ungrateful butts sittin’ pretty. Look around and ask yourself how everything you see or use on a daily basis got there? It may have been college degree designed, but it wasn’t built with college degree hands. Your houses, cars, infrastructure. Who do you call when your A/C or toilets quit working? How would life be without your hot shower? I bet most of you can’t even wire a light switch, much less run CoTE’s underground utility department.

      • Steven Reply

        October 27, 2017 at 5:56 pm

        He wasnt over that department when that incident occurred. Maybe sidewalk would have been fixed if he would have been. Keep up the good job Potter.

        • Employee Reply

          October 29, 2017 at 6:35 pm

          He has made a huge difference!!! Potter, keep up with what your doing!

      • Joy D Reply

        October 27, 2017 at 6:03 pm

        Wow! This is great! Had not thought of it in this way. I do real estate and have no degree and make far more than my brother with his degree!

    • Joe Reply

      October 28, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      RetiredConsultant, I agree with your assessment, but that’s just one single aspect. In your experience, have you seen something like this in parallel with layoffs? What about the 6 installments? Sure seems like financial engineering to me.

      • Pretty Petty Reply

        November 8, 2017 at 12:27 pm

        exactly the questions that need to be asked. kudos.

  14. James Reply

    October 27, 2017 at 8:53 am

    We’ve been groped by the City Commission…..again!

    • Snidely Whiplash Reply

      October 27, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      LOL James my backside hurts when I sit down.
      I feel we got a whole lot more violated by the City Commision.
      Dude we got Weinstein’ed by our Honerable City Commission without dinner, a kiss, and they did not even tell us we were pretty while they Weinstein,’ed us.
      On the plus side though they did pull our hair and left a tube of Prep H on the nightstand.

  15. Evelyn Reply

    October 27, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Sounds like the swamp has encompassed Tallahassee. Corruption runs amuck apparently. Change only comes when informed citizens stand up and vote to change things.

  16. James Anderson Reply

    October 27, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Just one of many city employees caught at the trough.

    At least 10 percent of City employees should be terminated. They are mostly welfare jobs.

    • From the cheap seats Reply

      October 29, 2017 at 11:29 am

      Great. I’m right there with you. Since you know “at least 10 percent” of the jobs are welfare jobs, please enlighten us as to which ones they are. Be specific.

  17. Sarah Reply

    October 27, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Someone needs to look at all the key people who were under RF before he became CM and see where they are now and add up all the raises they have gotten. Even James Barnes finally got his promotion ( and probably large raise) last week by taking over StarMetro.
    I’m guessing Tim Potter was one of those people… Cynthia Barber, Reese Goad, Sandra Manning, James Barnes, Jonathan Livingston, Pat McCraw (even though they axed her after big raise) and more.

    I bet we are paying for all their raises Through the increase in Fire Service Fees.

    • Nina Reply

      November 16, 2017 at 7:36 pm

      Looks like Pat McGraw was the smart one!! That axe was a blessing as we can see

  18. Informant Reply

    October 27, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Tim Potter was and is Rick Fernandez’s good golfing buddy. He came over from RAW construction with no experience at all in his current capacity. RAW construction receives the lion’s share of COT underground contracts.
    You do the math.

    • Panaceanike Reply

      October 27, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      Please look at the facts! RAW construction was born in 2004, fours years after Potter began his employment with cot. He also manages 0 contracts for RAW.

    • Jenny Reply

      October 27, 2017 at 6:27 pm

      Informant has been misinformed. Raw Construction started 2004, Tim Potter started with city in 2000.

    • Panaceanike Reply

      October 28, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Dude, have you been living under a rock? You need to verify your info before you post it. Really making yourself look bad.

    • Panaceanike Reply

      October 28, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      Where do they play golf together?

      • Par18 Reply

        October 28, 2017 at 12:52 pm

        I don’t think Rick has played golf in many years.

  19. Informant Reply

    October 27, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    It is my understanding that Mr. Potter is still employed in some capacity by RAW Construction. Should be easy enough to substantiate.
    Also, someone with the resources should really look into the subversive retaliation in the COT Water Dept by management against employees since Dr. Jackson’s accusations. Just ask around.

  20. Tango247 Reply

    October 27, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    If this were at any other layer, the employee would be suspended during the investigation. Suspected of theft? Keep them away from the check book and cash register. If they get cleared, they come back. If they get charged, then fire them. If they are found not guilty then make them whole with back pay. It has nothing to do with innocent until proven guilty.

    The Governor can do it to a Clerk of Courts or a Sheriff who runs off to Vegas (Alachua County years ago) but who can do it at this level? Who would be installed during the interim?
    I cannot understand why they continue to hold the keys and The City’s purse with an indictment pending.

    • Tango247 Reply

      October 30, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      The City Manager just put himself on Administrative Leave pending the results of the Ethics Commission.

  21. JJ Reply

    October 28, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Once again the City is inefficient. They need to learn from the county and do what the county did when giving the county attorney and county manager huge raises at once instead of through 6 installments which creates more work for the HR staff.

  22. Judith B. Dunn Reply

    October 28, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    …. Seems to me it is definitely time for a REVOLUTION in Tallyho! This merde has gone on long enough. think of the people who are praying for a job that would pay them $26,000 a year… starting out. What a low life pond scum sucking guys are Potter and Fernandez and the dishonourable Mayor as well! I have lived in Tallahassee only 10 years and I do believe the corruption rivals DC ! We have a huge swamp to drain, starting with these three! Throw the bums out!

    • Callie Reply

      October 29, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      Actually, Mr. Potter is the one who was screwed not the ratepayers. He worked in the gas department making $75k. In 2008 they made him manager over the water department because that supervisor was fired. At the time, that manager was making $108k when he was fired. So Potter took over that department for an additional $15k when the manager that was removed was making $108k. SO this just saved the city $93k per year. Then in Feb 2016 the Public Works department was consolidated and moved under the underground utilities dept. They got rid of 4 higher paid supervisors and managers with combined salaries of over $400k. They gave an additional 150 employees to Mr. Potter and the additional duties of another department. He received a $26k dollar raise for this. He did not receive it until a year after he had performed the duties of this new job. So, again the city has saved the $400k in salaries and given Potter $26k. Total saved $374k . And people think Potter is overpaid? He is doing the job that 5 other people were doing and 2 entire departments of 250 additional employees added to his responsibilities for total of $$. I would say the city got pretty lucky!

  23. Informant Reply

    October 28, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Maybe you should look a little harder. Tim Potter did for certain work for the company that is RAW construction. This is fact.

    • ReallyInformed Reply

      October 29, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      For the last time, he never worked for RAW!!! If you have proof please share and I will shut up!
      Also, all the so called repairs were done under the direction of Manager Phillyb. He was laid off though. That said, it doesn’t seem as if it kept him from loosing his job. Tells me the city really laid off people that were worthless and no longer needed. This is the same manager that accepted 2 football (box tickets) to Florida vs Alabama and Florida vs Kentucky. Maybe revoke his retirement.

  24. Sniedly Whiplash Reply

    October 28, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Has anyone else noticed an extreem lack of lefty liberals attempting to defend their politics on any comment section of any news/blog website locally and nationally?
    I think lefty’s are finally waking up to the error of their ways.
    Hey You all former twisted people are welcome to join us conservatives. We are registered Democrat, Republican, and Independent. We are Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, and everybody. Come on in former lefty’s join us.
    Stay where you are and you will be angry, butt-hurt, and disappointed for the rest of your life. The world has changed and your former self is no longer relevant.

    • Pretty Petty Reply

      November 8, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      I don’t see that happening at least until a total public renunciation of 45 happens. You cannot possibly be proud that he claims your party. He is not fiscally conservative, loyal, or hard working. Those are the traits I normally associate with the Republican platform, but 45 doesn’t fit that mold at all. Honestly, I vote democrat because I was raised that way. I would like to switch parties, but the humane part of me can’t get past the hate and hypocrisy toward the poor, minorities/women, and all foreigners of the darker persuasion. I’m pro enforcing immigration laws and even making them stricter, I’m pro 2nd amendment, pro work requirement for welfare, pro fiscal and personal responsibility. And I still can’t get past the other stuff the right seems to be okay with.

  25. Just saying Reply

    October 29, 2017 at 11:28 am

    At least Potter haves a avenue to request more Money, the trained employees and the spokes in the wheels get rebuffed and labeled a problem person. It all about who you know, nothing new at COT.

  26. Major Villum Reply

    October 29, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Look at Cynthia Barber ($179,000 per year) and her husband Tony Barber ($80,000 per year) salaries; they pull in over a quarter million per year between them. Now look at Nancy Miller and John Buss’s salary and the rest of their City Family, they pull in over a quarter million per year of tax payer’s money. Now look at Rick Fernandez and his family, the same. Now look at Terry Lowe and his family, the same. So, those 4 groups suck up over $1 MILLION of Tallahassee’s $800 Million budget. So how many City of Tallahassee workers make over a 100,000? For every 10 of these Potter types employed by our thrifty City that’s another MILLION out of taxpayers pockets. If there are 100 of them – and there are – just do a public record request to confirm; and there goes 10 Million. Now you know why your utility rates are so high.

  27. J Danger Reply

    October 30, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    You know, right down the road in Wakulla County there are those taking advantage of the same type of practices we see in the COT – family members feeding at the same trough, actually supervising relatives (husband and wife for example) that result in higher pay, poor work performance and “don’t give a sh–” attitude.
    It’s a shame we can’t hire people of integrity but when you have politicians interested in enriching themselves 1st, why would they want people of integrity in the county or city where the feedbag is located.
    I tried working for the state but never felt like I was earning my salary so I had to quit. I really feel bad for folks that are not a part of all the corruption in COT and Wakulla as they just need to make a living but be warned – at any given time you can be replaced with a cronies choice.

  28. Nina Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Cynthia barber is not qualified to perform her job!! She has no background in criminal justice… can she even use a walkie talkie?!?

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