TAMPA MAYOR GETS A RAISE-Andrew Stelzer

07/27/06

The Tampa city council voted to increase Mayor Pam iorios salary today by 15,000 to 150,000 but not without some objections. The vote was 6 to 1, councilwoman Rose Ferlita said she was uncomfortable giving the mayor such a large pay raise, as she thought there was low morale among city employees who feel they are underpaid. During the public comment period, one parks department employee gave credence to Ferlita’s concerns, saying he and his co-workers didn’t get a bonus they were expecting last year.

ACT 1:30 “I agree with alvarez everything is going up…not the mayors pay�

Ferlita said she’s opposed to giving the raise because of low morale among city employees. Councilman John Dingfelder spoke to the concerns of city employees, but said all the same he supported the raise for Iorio.

ACT-Dingfelder 3:30 “We’ve all received emails from employees we have to make sure ours are salaries are comparable..some of the calls ive received have gotten personal in regards to the mayor..Mayor iorio is the hardest working employee this city has�

City councilman Shawn Harrison said it’s important to have a salary that compares well to other mayors.

:30 ACT-Harrison “We are one of the biggest cities, we are on the I-4 corridor and we have to compare to city of st Pete..’

Councilwoman Mary Alvarez said she would support the raise, pointing out that there hasn’t been one given since 1999, when it was raised from 110 to 135 thousand dollars a year.

ACT—1:20 “Somehow we missed it and its only fair…Greco would have gotten it..council salaries will be raised too..mayor has done a great job�

To avoid the problem of large raises in the future, Councilwoman Linda Saulsena said she would like to institute an annual step increase for both department heads and the mayor. The city is working on a pay and classification study to develop a firm salary scale for city employees. That study is due to be complete by the end of October. Darell Smith, the city’s chief of staff, said that study has not been done in over 25 years, and so at this point its impossible to accurately compare city employees’ salaries to those in other cities. But he added that the study began with the intention of only studying regular employees, not elected officials, so and he didn’t think it was wise to change the aims of the study so close to the end.

ACT 8:40--Smith “With regard to rank and file, we’ve done a great job..we recognized our salaries were not competitive we took action and started raising..�

But Ferlita was not swayed, and although she acknowledged she would not prevail on the topic, she took issue with many of the other council members comments about the mayor.

Ferlita—4:45 “I don’t know if she the hardest working…and the comparison of st Pete is not valid…I just think the timing is the issue I have a problem with..the city council will be getting a raise..�

City chief of Staff Darrel Smith defended the raise, and was challenged by ferlita.

ACT Smith 9:45 “No one could have a 1999 salary and never have a change, they wouldn’t take the job that’s why we want the 150 and the ??? for next term..�

11:00-Ferlita “Public service is not about salary its about public service..they wouldn’t be looking at salary..I WOULD HOPE THAT’S THE CASE..I can tell you..lots of people might think they should have more but it’s not for the salary, same with Pam and next mayor hopefully..public service is not about the money�

The Mayors salary raise will go into effect on April 1st.

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