The ongoing investigation by Tallahassee Reports into the April 13, 2005 vote that increased City Commissioner compensation by approximately $21,000 continues to uncover new details.
Discussions with city officials has revealed that the initial report that the elected officials received employer paid deferred compensation and that appointed officials received employee paid compensation was incorrect. In fact, both the appointed and elected officials receive employer (citizen) paid deferred compensation.
The confusion on this issue is due to the fact that the implementation of the benefit is different for the elected officials and the appointed officials. Tallahassee Reports was told that the accounting entry for elected officials had to be different than for appointed officials so as not to raise any concerns over the possibility of a City Charter violation on salary constraints. The City Charter limits the salary of the City Commissioners.
For 2009, the amount of this deferred compensation was $21,999 for each official. Based on current salary information, this means that the City Manager will receive just over $225,000 in citizen paid compensation, the Mayor will receive $93,000 and the part-time City Commissioners will receive $57,000. This does not include car allowances.
When asked who initiated the change in benefits for the elected officials and why, Tallahassee Reports was told that the issue originated in the Human Resources Department and that most of the decision makers were no longer city employees.
Tallahassee Reports has a call into the City Manager and all City Commissioners seeking to identify the individual who initiated this change in policy.