As promised, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston provided the city council members with a total cost of what a three percent salary increase would look like. The cost came to $43,642 for all employees. Houston explained that the cost of living increase was determined to be 1.5 percent and a 6.5 increase in insurance is expected for next year. The proposed salary increase would likely cover those statistics.
Discussion centered around competitive salaries for workers, the certifications that some workers need that would corroborate an increase in salary, a possible two percent salary increase, and continued budget issues. Even if the salary ordinance is approved, it can be amended down the road. If the 2015 budget comes back and that salary increase needs to be cut as a last resort, the council has the authority to take that under consideration should that opportunity arise.
In the end, the council members approved the salary ordinance as presented for the second reading on a vote of 3-2. Linda Berndt, Jeff Berg and Greg Matt voted in favor while Don Kring and Ron Parker voted against the ordinance. The third and final reading will be considered at the council’s next meeting on July 22.