Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Seeking a Larger Salary Atlantic Leans toward Hikes

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Seeking a Larger Salary Atlantic Leans toward Hikes

Article excerpt

ATLANTIC BEACH -- City commissioners gave initial approval Monday to giving raises to future commissioners and mayors, but not themselves during the current term.

The proposed ordinance would allow raises for future elected officials equal to and at the same time as other city employees get pay hikes.

The city's elected officials haven't gotten raises since 1983.

Commissioner Mike Borno used a Florida League of Cities salary study to suggest increasing the mayor's annual salary from $5,000 to $12,000 and the commissioners' salary from $2,500 to $9,000.

But the other commissioners said the increase was too high and that it wasn't right to give themselves raises.

"It's a little bit too generous," Commissioner Dezmond Waters said. "I can't walk away in good conscience with $9,000 coming to me."

Mayor John Meserve said he was willing to stick with the $5,000 salary he knew he'd be getting when he ran for office last year.

Borno said he wasn't suggesting the raises to be self-serving but was trying to do something that should have been done since 1983.

"The basic point of it is that a basic increase to salary is 17 years needed," Borno said.

Resident Sally Clemens said a 3 percent raise would be more acceptable than the proposed raises but much higher increases would be unfair to previous elected officials who received the smaller salaries.

"I know this hurts your pocketbook, but I do want you to know my opinion," Clemens said.

Resident Nancy White disagreed. She said the commissioners deserve the proposed raises because they are some of the hardest-working people she has ever seen.

"I wouldn't do your job for a million," she said.

In other action:

The commission authorized the city manager to negotiate with three architects who submitted proposals for the Adele Grage Community Center's renovations. …

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