In a move that is sure to be controversial, all five City Commissioners offered their full support to the executive raises doled out by City Manager Rick Fernandez.
Despite the fact that the City’s own pay study did not support the larger raises, not one City Commissioner questioned the increases that reached $50,000 for one position.
City Manager Rick Fernandez apologized for the way the raises were presented and explained that organizational efficiencies and increased responsibilities supported the raises.
The raises mean that one manager will make approximately $185,000 and five other managers will earn $175,000 per year. The raises are retroactive back to January.
On the tax front, the City Commissioners voted 3-2 to cut property taxes by approximately $1 million, which translates to a 2.3% decrease. The same vote included the elimination of the business tax in 2018. The business tax generates approximately $2 million on an annual basis.
The vote was not supported by Mayor Gillum and Commissioner Nancy Miller. Gillum and Miller supported the business tax cut, but opposed the property tax decrease.
The City Commission voted to raise property taxes by approximately 13% last year.