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Disputed pay raises discussed at York City Council

Written by Teresa Boeckel/The York Daily Record | Dec 6, 2017 5:28 AM
York-City-Hall.jpg

York City Hall (Photo: File)

(York) -- York City Council narrowly approved disputed pay raises for some department directors despite some residents speaking out against it.

Meanwhile, the council approved the 2018 budget and a roughly 4 percent tax decrease for property owners. The tax rate for next year will be $18.97 on $1,000 of assessed value. That's down from $19.75 for 2017.

Council voted 3-2 for the new salaries for department heads, including the police chief, business administrator and economic and community development director, as proposed by outgoing Mayor Kim Bracey. Council president Michael Helfrich and councilwoman Renee Nelson voted against it. The pay raises take effect in January.

Helfrich, who is the mayor-elect, told council that he believes salary increases should be based on an evaluation of individuals, and "we didn't see anything like that." He said they were provided a comparison of what directors are being paid in other cities, which were not similar in size to York. 

The city had paid for a professional salary study several years ago, he said. It evaluated the employees and positions, and it laid out a system so that employees would get increases but one office would not get excessive increases while leaving others behind. The system, however, was never adopted.

Helfrich proposed using the study for determining the pay raises.

He tried to get council to table the disputed pay raises until the next council meeting so they could study and review the information. That was not approved.

Councilwoman Sandie Walker said she didn't think a two-week delay would make a difference for her.

"I feel like our department heads were not receiving what they should be fairly compensated for," she said.

Councilman Henry Nixon said that when the cost of living is backed out, the actual cost is about $47,300. He also pointed out that the city's financial rating is an A-.

Nixon said after the meeting that officials need to look at other cities and what they are paying. It's more than comparable size, too.

"If we're going to attract the kind of personnel that we're looking for and want to keep, you're going to get them from other cities," he said. "So we have to be comparable to me in terms of the amount of money or as close as possible."

Some residents raised concerns about council voting on the salary increases Tuesday night. 

Craig Smith told council members he hoped that they have done their due diligence on why these directors should get the pay raises.

The cost-of-living increase for 2018 has been set at 2 percent. He strongly suggested that council members hold off on making a decision.

 

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The York Daily Record

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