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ANALYSIS: Mayor’s Office Salary Expenses Are Significantly Higher Than Expenses In Comparable Cities

Posted on September 21, 2015

ANALYSIS: Mayor’s Office Salary Expenses Are Significantly Higher Than Expenses In Comparable Cities

Tallahassee Reports has determined that the personnel expenditures in the City of Tallahassee’s Mayor’s Office are significantly higher when compared to personnel expenses in other Mayor offices in Florida.

At last weeks budget hearing, Mayor Gillum took the time to address critics of the Mayor’s Office budget, which is approximately $475,000.

Gillum called a proposal to cut the budget by $100,000 a “lie” and said the citizens group proposal was irresponsible.

The Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Dustin Daniels, told the Tallahassee Democrat that “[t]he issues that some individuals around the community have brought up about our budget are red herrings; tactics seeking to politically charge the debate on the budget overall.”

He added “[w]e will continue to be innovative in the way our office operates.”

TR decided to compare the Mayor’s Office expenditures on personnel with six other Mayor offices in Florida to see if the questions over expenditures was a “red herring”, as Mayor Gillum has publicly claimed.

TR selected cities based on population and their form of government. All the cities selected operate under a Commission-City Manager form of government, just like the City of Tallahassee.

TR used public records and made phone calls to collect information to determine the total salaries (without benefits) for the Mayor, their aides, and any interns for each of the seven cities listed in the table below.

CityPopulationAides, Paid InternsPersonnel Expenses, Including Mayor's Salary
Tallahassee181,3763 aides, 3 paid interns$306,000
Fort Lauderdale
172,3891 aide, no paid Interns$105,000
Port St. Lucie171,016Mayor shares an aide, no paid interns.
$75,000
Pembroke Pines154,7501 aide, no paid interns$113,000
Cape Coral154,3051 aide, no paid interns$64,671
Gainesville127,4881 aide, no paid interns$120,000
Lakeland100,710Mayor shares an aide, no paid interns$41,000

The above chart shows that the personnel expenses in Mayor Gillum’s office is approximately $306,000. The next closest expenditure listed in the chart is the $120,000 in the Mayor’s Office in the City of Gainesville.

The City of Lakeland, which reported an expense of approximately $41,000, had the lowest salary expense in a Mayor’s Office among the cities evaluated.

No city in the comparable group funded more than one full time aide for their Mayor except for the City of Tallahassee, which provides funding for three full time aides.

In some cities, Mayor’s shared aides with city commissioners.

Also, no Mayor’s office in the comparable group, other than Tallahassee, reported having a paid intern program. The City of Tallahassee funds $40,000 for the Mayor’s intern program.

Another finding of note, the City with the highest paid Mayor, the City of Tallahassee with a Mayor’s salary of approximately $75,000, also had the highest number of aides.

Given this information, was the request by the Citizens for Responsible Spending to cut $100,000 from the Mayor’s office a “red herring” or a political ploy?

Suffice it to say, a $100,000 cut in the Mayor’s Office budget, would leave Mayor Gillum’s office with $206,000 in salary expenses. This would be approximately 70% higher than the next highest comparable city, which is the Mayor’s Office in Gainesville with a salary expense of approximately $120,000.

13 Responses to ANALYSIS: Mayor’s Office Salary Expenses Are Significantly Higher Than Expenses In Comparable Cities

  1. The Village Idiot Reply

    September 21, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    I have to check a map every day because the more light that shines on the corruption in this town, the more it seems like we are in Chicago. Speaking of which, there is news now coming out that Chicago is raising property taxes to balance their budget. Now we know why our hoodlums really went up to visit Chicago’s hoodlums this past summer. I was wrong, it really was about crime. Our leaders wanted to see first hand how to properly steamroll over and steal money from the residents in order to put more money in the government’s coffers.

    I can’t wait to see where they go next, maybe a visit to the Moscow or perhaps Cuba to see how to use government resources to effectively lock up, (er I mean shut up) people up who are speaking out against them?

  2. bob fulford Reply

    September 21, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    With the exception of Gainesville and Lakeland the comparison cities listed are some very upscale cities where one would expect higher costs for a mayors office.

    The information submitted by TR supports the contention that our Mayor’s office expenditures are extravagant.

    Cutting $100K from that item would seem prudent to me.

  3. BEC Reply

    September 21, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    This is sickening!

  4. Diana Steinberg Reply

    September 22, 2015 at 12:13 am

    The entitlement mentality on steroids! One has to wonder what all those aids and interns are doing??

  5. Diana Steinberg Reply

    September 22, 2015 at 12:14 am

    The entitlement mentality on steroids! What are all those aids and interns doing??

  6. Vic Aderhold

    Vic Aderhold Reply

    September 22, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Since when did we start paying interns?

  7. Rosemary N. Palmer Reply

    September 22, 2015 at 11:58 am

    There is something afoot in the arena of college internships, though. Former unpaid interns are challenging violations of Fair Labor Act. You could make an argument that COT is ahead of the game in paying its interns to avoid any risk of litigation (though those who have brought suits interned for companies not governments, as far as I recall.)

    I’d feel better about the interns, even being paid, if they were selected in an open manner, perhaps having been certified by their colleges as meeting certain published criteria, and then interviewed by a group which narrowed it to a group from whom the winners were selected, and if their experience was broadened from being in a single office: one cannot get a good view of government by working for a single person and their agenda, and presumably an internship is supposed to prepare one as a better worker.

    • BEC Reply

      September 23, 2015 at 10:44 am

      At least two of his current interns have ties to People for the American Way, Andy’s employer.

      Willing to bet they were not selected in an open manor.

  8. James Anderson Reply

    September 22, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. This City has to many employees paid way to much for what they do. Many of the positions are really welfare payments disguised as jobs. The City could eliminate 10 percent of their positions and cut pay by 10 percent without causing any harm to services.

  9. Dianne Berryhill Reply

    September 22, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Remember, he works for People For The American Way as his full time job. Being Mayor is only a part-time job.

    Why isn’t anyone asking why we have a City Manager and 3 Assistant City Managers who each make over $100,000 per year and Miami has a city Manager and 3 Assistant City Managers and we have half the population of Miami? Our commissioners all have full time jobs and they all get 6 weeks off during the summer. They are never in their offices and then they slam staff because they don’t know what is going on. Our city government is a shameful exhibit of fraud. Oh yes, and how is Dee Crumpler an elected School Board member and in an appointed position. Oh yes, our slimy city attorney worked that out so that if the City Manager and the other two assistants are out of town he will act as City Manager. Just so we don’t have a conflict of interest, don’t you know!

  10. Patrick Reply

    September 22, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Food for thought…

    The City has a 180k lobbying contract with Sean Pittman. Curiously, he was the campaign manager for the current and previous mayor. It is not immediately clear what he is getting paid for. Certainly this is an area that can be cut.

    The City justifies the tax increase to pay for 18 new police officers. They claim to need to raise 9.8 million dollars to pay 18 officers annually? My math may be a little fuzzy but that comes out to 500k per officer.

  11. Andy Snuts Reply

    September 24, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Gillum’s idol>> Kwame Kilpatrick. Former Detroit mayor, current residence: the federal pen. Pround FAMU alum.

    More $$ is needed to fly Adam Corey and company around.

  12. Carlos Ramirez Reply

    September 30, 2015 at 2:04 am

    First I must say THANKS to TR
    and everyone else spreading this must needed information.

    We the PEOPLE need to put a stop to this.

    I saw a bumper sticker that said: RE-ELECT NO-ONE
    This mind set needs to be executed in this town and in the state.

    Copy the link if this report and pass it on to a hundred of your local friends.

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