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Salary increases up for some department heads

By Staff | Nov 3, 2008

While the Blue Earth City Council continues to go through the 2009 budget line by line, one area up for discussion this month is salary increases.

At last week’s work session, City Administrator Kathy Bailey briefly mentioned the proposed increases, but the council is expected to take a closer look at them Monday night.

Bailey says there is an across-the-board three percent increase for most employees.

“We have two union contracts and they are in the three percent range,” she reported to the council.

The exception is for three key employees. Bailey says salaries for the main department heads – city administrator, police chief and public works supervisor – were studied separately from the rest of the city staff.

Bailey says her proposal was for a five percent increase for these three positions, because of a recommendation from a study done two years ago. That study called for key employees to be compensated with wages comparable to those of similar sized cities.

A closer look at the budget proposal shows different numbers from those presented, however.

Because Bailey has not yet had her six month review, her increase for 2009 would not go into effect until later in the year.

The proposed schedule shows her base salary increasing to $70,477. Five percent of her salary is listed under community development and five percent under the HRA budget.

The salary of the public works supervisor also reflects a five percent increase for 2009. It would be raised from the current $62,122 to $65,236 next year.

This salary was increased by over $10,000 in the current 2008 budget as part of the attempt to get all of the department head pay rates in line with recommendations from the 2007 wage study,

Although Bailey mentioned the police chief’s salary, it is listed at just a three percent increase in 2009 – going from $28.45 per hour to $29.31.

Bailey says the final budget will be ready for the council to vote on by the end of November.