Thanks go to Linda Cox for "listening to the citizens" in deciding to vote no on the increase.
Dear Loveland Magazine,
Thank you for publishing the video of discussion and vote on the ordinance instituting a 4% retroactive increase for City Manager Tom Carroll from last week's council meeting. I learned a few things that made me feel somewhat better about this increase on the heels of a decision by council to put a tax increase on the ballot this November.
Regarding Mr. Carroll's evident agreement to by-pass a cost of living increase in prior years due to budget constraints, I applaud this example of leadership by the administration. I now better understand why some council members saw fit to bring his cost of living adjustments into line with non-bargaining city staff, and can empathize with their position. The decision to make this pay increase retroactive to January 1, however, when Mr. Carroll was seeking employment outside the City of Loveland, is outrageous.
I wonder if council members supporting the increase are aware that there are many in the private sector who have gone without ANY cost of living adjustments for several years due to the sorry state of the economy? The notion that public sector employees are entitled to automatic increases regardless of the budget constraints doesn't sit well with those whose wages are tied to real constraints - the bottom line. Many are struggling to make their income stretch further, and when they are asked to pay higher taxes because, among other things, government employees are given automatic pay increases for satisfactory performance, well....you get the point. Thanks go to Linda Cox for "listening to the citizens" in deciding to vote no on the increase. It is nice to hear a public official that feels accountable to those who elected her.
I also take exception with the comments from two council members that Loveland should pay our City Manager commensurate with similar communities in the area. Benchmarking salaries is important for any entity that wants to attract and retain talented employees. When benchmarking, you look at comparable organizations, however. Don't compare Montgomery's ability to pay their City Manager 50% more than Loveland's. Their tax base is likely 50% more than Loveland's as well. When council members make these statements, it is clear to me they haven't done their homework on the facts. Geographic proximity to Loveland alone doesn't make a "similar community."