City commissioners have asked City Manager Greg Horwedel to look for extra money for city employees who haven't had a raise in four years.
Horwedel's new budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 includes no raises for city employees who don't work in public safety. He said there's not enough extra money for that to change now, but he will look to see if the city's finances improve in a few months.
City commissioners are all for it, even if it's just a one-time cash award.
"I hope we can do something for our employees, somehow, someway," City Commissioner Mary Mathis said.
Wages paid to city employees who don't work in public safety have been frozen since 2009, although in the current budget year that ends Sept. 30, employees are due to receive a one-time check equal to 2 percent of their salaries, up to a maximum of $750.
The city's 150 rank-and-file public safety employees, such as police officers and firefighters, are eligible for raises, as their salaries must roughly keep pace with those paid by Hillsborough County, according to city policy.
City commissioners decided five years ago that municipal public safety employee salaries should be close to – although slightly less than – wages offered by Hillsborough because the city was losing so many officers and firefighters to the county.
Employee salaries were part of a July 9 budget discussion led by Horwedel. Under Horwedel's proposed budget, the general fund would drop from $25.7 million to $25.4 million as property tax revenues continue to decline.
Budget highlights include:
At its regular meeting July 9, the City Commission took the following action: