Supervisors undecided about raises for selves, employees | NevadaAppeal.com

Supervisors undecided about raises for selves, employees

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

Management-level employees with Carson City could be earning more money if supervisors approve a 3 percent cost-of-living salary increase.

The supervisors themselves might be making a little extra if they decide to take the raises state legislators say they could – up to 4 percent each year for the next four years.

Money to provide this year’s raises to the unclassified employees was included in this year’s city budget while the extra money for the supervisors wasn’t, said City Manager Linda Ritter.

“The supervisors’ last raise was in 2003,” Ritter said. “They have to determine if they want the raise this time.”

Unclassified employee raises would total slightly more than $257,000. Feelings are mixed among the supervisors about whether they should accept more pay for their work – especially with the city’s current budgetary concerns – even if the extra cost would only total about $6,800 a year.

“I couldn’t do it in good conscience,” said Supervisor Shelly Aldean. “It’s not that I don’t think my fellow supervisors aren’t worth it, I just don’t think it would be appropriate right now.”

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Supervisor Robin Williamson said she still hasn’t made up her mind about the topic.

“We want the compensation to be enough to make the position attractive,” Williamson said.

And Supervisor Pete Livermore would prefer any raises be small but consistent. He said it’s mostly for the same reason cited by Williamson: a need for good people to seek political office in the future.

“This is a prudent way of doing it because big raises get the public outraged,” he said. “I don’t do this for the salary – I don’t think any of us do – but you have to pay for your mileage on your vehicle, for clothes like suits, you end up eating a lot of meals out …”

Base pay for Carson’s supervisors is $22,797 and the legislators allow for a rise to $23,709. The longer an elected official is in office, the more money they make. After being re-elected to subsequent terms, they can make 2 percent more.

The mayor, in the middle of his third term, for example, makes about $34,000 a year, according to the city’s finance department.

“Timing is everything,” Aldean added. And taking a raise “would send the wrong message.”

There are 123 employees considered unclassified. This group includes department heads, middle managers and various other employees with professional or otherwise highly specialized duties.

About 600 people total work for the city, excluding elected officials.

Proposed state legislation that would have tied the city’s other elected officials’ raises to those received by nonelected managers was withdrawn.

The raises would take effect July 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year, if approved.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.

In other business, the supervisors:

• Postponed a show-cause hearing to revoke a liquor license of Bhupinder Lally, owner of Winnie Liquor.

• Accepted a Federal Aviation Administration grant of $5 million for improvements at the Carson City Airport.

• Approved a subdivision map for a project at the airport, Heritage Hangars.

• OK’d introduction of an ordinance change that would affect how the planning commission establishes the city’s annual growth management numbers for new residential development.

• Agreed to a three-year extension of its contract with the Brewery Arts Center for community access programming and services.

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