TAMPA MAYOR GETS A RAISE-Andrew Stelzer07/27/06
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 Ferlitaâ€™s concerns, saying he and his co-workers didnâ€™t get a bonus they were expecting last year.
ACT 1:30 â€œI agree with alvarez everything is going upâ€¦not the mayors payâ€?
Ferlita said sheâ€™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 â€œWeâ€™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 hasâ€?
City councilman Shawn Harrison said itâ€™s important to have a salary that compares well to other mayors.
:30 ACT-Harrison â€œWe are one of the biggest cities, we are on the I-4 corridor and we have to compare to city of st Pete..â€™
Councilwoman Mary Alvarez said she would support the raise, pointing out that there hasnâ€™t been one given since 1999, when it was raised from 110 to 135 thousand dollars a year.
ACTâ€”1:20 â€œSomehow we missed it and its only fairâ€¦Greco would have gotten it..council salaries will be raised too..mayor has done a great jobâ€?
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 cityâ€™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 employeesâ€™ 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 didnâ€™t think it was wise to change the aims of the study so close to the end.
ACT 8:40--Smith â€œWith regard to rank and file, weâ€™ve done a great job..we recognized our salaries were not competitive we took action and started raising..â€?
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.
Ferlitaâ€”4:45 â€œI donâ€™t know if she the hardest workingâ€¦and the comparison of st Pete is not validâ€¦I just think the timing is the issue I have a problem with..the city council will be getting a raise..â€?
City chief of Staff Darrel Smith defended the raise, and was challenged by ferlita.
ACT Smith 9:45 â€œNo one could have a 1999 salary and never have a change, they wouldnâ€™t take the job thatâ€™s why we want the 150 and the ??? for next term..â€?
11:00-Ferlita â€œPublic service is not about salary its about public service..they wouldnâ€™t be looking at salary..I WOULD HOPE THATâ€™S THE CASE..I can tell you..lots of people might think they should have more but itâ€™s not for the salary, same with Pam and next mayor hopefully..public service is not about the moneyâ€?
The Mayors salary raise will go into effect on April 1st.