Wednesday, January 16, 2013, the Suffolk City Council surprised everyone with a vote to give City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn a 14% pay raise, in addition to a benefits package that includes a payment of 12,000$ a year into a retirement account, and health & dental covered 100% by the city. (VA Daily Pilot, Suffolk News Herald)
Oh, and this new 14% raise, is in addition to the 2% raise ALL city employees, including Ms. Cuffee-Glenn, got last year.
But this shouldn’t be surprising to folks who are involved! Anyone remember the budget battle of April 2012? Remember the idea of a 21% raise for Ms Cuffee-Glenn was one of four double digit raises the City Manager had included in the budget, citing a salary study. There was an uproar, mostly from the school system, who, having run out of Federal money, found themselves faced with 7 million dollars less than the year before. In order to pacify the School Board, the city raided the transportation fund, and “found” a few million to throw their way. Then Mayor Linda Johnson claimed the double digit pay raises were NEVER part of the budget, and that they would be implementing the salary study in three parts, coordinating with performance evaluations.
Fact is, it was in the budget. The Final Budget Proposal offered in the first week of May showed a 27% increase in the salary of the City Manager’s Office — 5 people plus Ms. Cuffee-Glenn. That breaks down to 2% for all six members of the office, with an additional 15% of salary money unaccounted for – until now.
People of Suffolk, the City Council & the School Board are hard at work formulating Budget 13-14 NOW! It is vitally important that we pay attention to what is being approved in the various city commisions & boards. This will determine the next budget.
If we don’t make our voices heard now, it will be too late.