Wednesday, April 24, 2024

$17,000 in Virginia Beach appointed staff salary raises receive mixed reviews from city council before Tuesday vote

City Manager Dave Hansen listens to city David Bradley, director of budget and management services, present a proposed budget to city council in March.
City Manager Dave Hansen listens to city David Bradley, director of budget and management services, present a proposed budget to city council in March. (Justin Belichis/Southside Daily)

VIRGINIA BEACH — When city council passed its budget for the upcoming year, it gave all full-time city employees a 1 percent pay increase, but appointed staff needs an additional vote to confirm theirs.

Depending on how council votes Tuesday night, the city manager, attorney, clerk, real estate assessor and auditor could get 1 percent salary and merit pay increases in July.

Here’s a look at the numbers, according to city council’s formal agenda ordinances.

  • The salary for Dave Hansen, city manager, could increase to $285,611 from $280,442
  • The salary for Mark Stiles, city attorney, could increase to $242,989 from $238,617
  • The salary for J. D. Banagan, city real estate assessor, could increase to $146,613 from $149,466
  • The salary for Ruth Fraser, city clerk, could increase to $135,446 from $132,988
  • The salary for Lyndon Remias, city auditor, could increase to $133,744 from $131,239

According to council member Jessica Abbott, the pay raises for these positions would amount to $17,358 and she plans to vote against them.

In a Facebook post, Abbott said the appointed staff receives “more than sufficient compensation.”

“Taxes and fees were just raised on Virginia Beach families, and it was done so very arguably without necessary infrastructure improvements. I plan on voting no to these proposed increases on Tuesday,” she wrote.

Abbott also wrote that, at 63 cents per resident, the city manager’s pay is “one of the most expensive compensations for a city manager on a per-resident basis” in the top 40 most populated cities in the country.

Council member James Wood disagreed and said the number is similar to positions like it.

“I think every one of them does a good job. Frankly, their compensation is in line with similar positions, and it’s lower than the private sector,” Wood said. “We’re talking about giving them a 1 percent increase that all the other employees got.”

Council member Barbara Henley said she also plans to vote in favor of the increases and that they could get the same percentage increase all cities employees are getting.

“This is what we do every year. They typically get the same raise that all the other employees get, and that’s what this will be,” Henley said. “We don’t vote on the police and teachers differently, they are all covered by one vote.”

Follow Justin Belichis on Twitter @Justinbmmj or send a story idea to Justin@wydaily.com

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