Salary Increases for City Manager, Attorney
by Carl Wagenfohr
CLEARWATER - Despite the reductions in property taxes mandated by the state legislature this year and the resulting decreases in municipal budgets, Clearwater's City Manager, Bill Horne, and City Attorney, Pam Akin, received substantial salary increases from the City Council on November 1.
Human Resources Director Joe Roseto presented the results of a comparative salary survey that showed Horne's current salary of $154,964 is 6.1-percent lower than the average of City Managers in municipalities traditionally used for such comparisons, and that Akin's current $143,044 is 7.9-percent lower.
Citing the difficult budget year, Mayor Frank Hibbard suggested that Horne and Akin, the city's highest paid employees, lead by example and accept a only 3-percent increase. Councilmember George Cretekos favored Hibbard's suggestion and moved for 3-percent raises.
Councilmember Carlen Petersen argued for a 4-percent increase instead, claiming that Horne and Akin are "woefully underpaid."
Councilmember Paul Gibson argued for reducing the 7.9-percent gap by half, and suggested increasing both salaries by 3.95-percent, claiming "they're worth every penny of it."
"I don't think 3-percent is enough," said Vice Mayor John Doran, who indicated his support for Gibson's recommendation.
The Council rejected Cretekos' motion by a vote of 2-3, with Hibbard and Cretekos for and Doran, Gibson and Petersen against.
Gibson then moved for 3.95-percent raises, and it carried by a vote of 3-2, Cretekos and Hibbard against.
Akin's new salary will be $148,694, while Horne will earn $160,804.
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