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BREAKING NEWS: Tallahassee Democrat Article on City Budget Includes Incorrect Pay Raise Number

Posted on July 5, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Tallahassee Democrat Article on City Budget Includes Incorrect Pay Raise Number

The Tallahassee Democrat has a major story in their Sunday edition on the City’s proposed 2015-16 budget, which includes a 27% increase in property taxes.

However, when it comes to reporting the amount in the budget for non-public safety pay raises for city employees, the Tallahassee Democrat publishes an incorrect number.

Byron Dobson, the Tallahassee Democrat reporter writes, “The budget also calls for a 3-percent merit raise for employees that will cost $900,000.”

This is incorrect.

The merit increases included in the budget for non-public safety positions totals $2,685,405.

Listed below are the “salary enhancements” included in the City’s proposed 2015-16 budget.

FundProposed 2015-16
Total$2,685,405
Building Inspection$48,972
Electric Utility$745,755
Gas$47,236
Water$135,250
Sewer$298,429
Star Metro$179,405
Solid Waste$187,249
Stormwater$132,655
Golf Course$4,854
Cemetery$3,584
General Government$900,000

Tallahassee Reports will have a more detailed report on the City pay raises included in the 2015-16 budget later today.

17 Responses to BREAKING NEWS: Tallahassee Democrat Article on City Budget Includes Incorrect Pay Raise Number

  1. Arthur Kirby Reply

    July 5, 2015 at 11:47 am

    An honest debate. Ready! Set! Go!!

    Please keep in mind, government does -not- run itself, nor do the politicians we elect, and debatably, neither do the upper 2% of leadership. No, the people making this an “All-America City” for the second time are the front line, “boots-on-the-ground” people that make government work, (and look good!) each and every day, holidays, nights and weekends – through public demonstration, shining City event and repeated storm.

    So I say this to every Democrats, Republicans, Green Party, Tea Party, liberal or conservative. When you start talking about whether a 3% raise is appropriate or not, REMEMBER! Remember you are talking about people’s lives, their family’s wellbeing, and the health and safety of their children. They are your neighbors, church members, friends and in some cases, family.

    So, if your discontent over budget issues turns to discord, also remember this… all they can do is receive want is offered, no matter what they do, no matter what sacrifices are made, or how dutiful they are to their jobs. Above all else, they are not the one’s causing your discontent. They are the one’s keeping us going despite of it all.

    • Mike Lavender Reply

      July 15, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      PT Barnum was right…

  2. Russell Price Reply

    July 5, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Raises are also called merit raises by city, usually defined as raises for meritorius service where some are rewarded and some are not.

    But it appears that everyone is getting the raise including the city manager.

    That means it can only accurately be described as a cost of living increase. The cost of living was 1.6% in 2014 and 0% in 2015. Many departments received 2.5% this year and will get 3% in 2016. Cost of living increase is running in negative for this half of 2015 for a cost of living headed toward 0% this year.

  3. Arthur Kirby Reply

    July 5, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Russell Price – please state your source go for these statistics? I want to evaluate their merit for myself. Keep in mind, municipal employees did without raises for several years over the past decade. I want to learn what comparisons are being used to evaluate COLA. What in your assessment defines appropriateness? I suggests your numbers might be as reliable as Mr. Dobson’s.

  4. Russell Price Reply

    July 5, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    For cost of living fact source See Bureau of Labor Statistics or

    http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/current-inflation-rates/

    For 3% proposed raises see page viii Letter from city manager to city commissioners Talgov.com/budget

    Mr. Kirby,

    I am all for raises for our excellent city work force when we can afford. But when we can find money for raises, another ethics employee, a new horticulturist for Cascades Park, money for a night club, and a $7,000,000 pedestrian bridge, and then misleadingly say that there is no money for law enforcement, and say we must pass a “public safety tax”, we have come close to loosing our collective minds. We must review every expenditure.

    I must change my icon.

    • Luther Lee Reply

      July 20, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      Exactly!

  5. Russell Price Reply

    July 5, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Remember too that when you hand out higher tax bills for the purpose of paying raises to many city employees making more than $75,000 to homeowners who are trying to ward off foreclosure or saving money for a vacation, or trying to put groceries on the table, affect people’s lives,also.

  6. Michael Railey Reply

    July 5, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    The sad reality is that the City of Tallahassee is fiscally irresponsible. Mismanagement is at an all time high. Much like the federal government, city officials cleary believe that they are entitled to taking from its citizenry as it sees fit. We need to help them understand that they cannot just reach into our pockets and take whenever and whatever they want. They are doing things that just ought not be paid for with tax dolars. Some services, while well-meaning and maybe even needed, just should not be gauranteed by us.

    • BEC Reply

      July 5, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      Unfortunately, the only way will be at the polls.

  7. J. Brent Pichard Reply

    July 5, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    “The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing.” Jean Baptiste Colbert

    “The larger a government and its budget get, the more nooks and crannies for the truth and accountability to hide.” JBP

    • brad Reply

      July 17, 2015 at 10:11 am

      Too many crannies downtown for sure!

  8. News Maven Reply

    July 6, 2015 at 2:13 am

    Any commissioner voting for this 27% money grab should face a recall petition.

  9. Jimmy Reply

    July 6, 2015 at 7:40 am

    The pay raises are offensive. State employees residing in Tallahassee who have not had a substantive pay increase in years are now going to be burdened with paying for the city employees increase. The Commissioners are living in a dream world. Never met a tax increase they didn’t like. Amazing…

  10. howard eisenman Reply

    July 6, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Has anyone notified the Tallahassee Democrat along with a request that they publish the correct amount. A $1.8MM difference should be newsworth to their readers and Tallahassee’s citizens. A 27% increase in the property tax milleage rate will be a job killer. Sure wished the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce would add their voice before the commissioners vote!

    • BEC Reply

      July 6, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      The same chamber who hosts their annual conference outside of Tallahassee. So not only do they gouge their members, but expect them to pay to travel out of town to attend.

      I am sure many local businesses would love to host this event.

      The chamber would never speak out of terms. They would not want to upset Andy and lose their insider status.

  11. SuziQ Reply

    July 12, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Here’s a thought; how many pennies woud u need to pay the increase of ur taxes for 2015??
    Recently read where a student from a well known college paid his parking fines with pennies upon learning that only 20% of the $115.00 fine would go to the student body. The rest to the general fund….
    Got to pay for the sky bridge:-)

  12. Robert Reply

    July 23, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    From 1787 until 1913 there was no such thing as ‘inflation’. the dollar gained 4 cents in value over that time. In 1913 the Fed was established to ‘stabilize our money system’. Turns out, they meant ‘stabilize’ it for the banks to make more money. Inflation means you can borrow money and pay it back with money that is worth less. The government allows this degradation of our money because they benefit by borrowing against expected tax revenues and then paying back with less valuable dollars. Thanks to the Fed and their cohorts, a dollar today is worth about 1 cent of 1913 purchasing power. The unions and slow learners are kept quiet by giving them COLA (Cost Of Living Allowance) which in turn requires businesses to raise their prices to accommodate the increased cost of labor, ratcheting up inflation. The downward spiral has lasted since 1913, but the end is growing near. Unfortunately, so is bankruptcy and social collapse.

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