Layoffs happening as city faces tough financial times
BY JOSH RESNEK
Many of those who have recently been laid off or had their salaries cut by the mayor have decried the mayor accepting a $14,000 raise in his own salary.
“What the hell is that all about?” asked one former city employee laid off two weeks ago who wished to remain unnamed for fear of retribution.
“How can he have the gall to accept his salary being raised so substantially while stripping others of their right to work?” she asked.
Last week, the city reported that the mayor handed back the $12,000 car allowance given to him by the city council in 2019 – a car allowance many believe he never used to either rent or to buy an automobile.
At the time the city council granted him the allowance, he threatened the city council with reprisal if they failed to enact the allowance for him.
“After all I do for this city, you’re going to treat me this way,” he told the council at the time.
“Maybe I’ll have to look into your expenses. How will you like that?” he prodded the council.
Aside from the car allowance of $12,000 which the mayor has given up, he received also a $14,000 automatic raise as part of the 2020 budget.
The mayor accepted that raise, bringing his compensation up to $185,000 a year.
The mayor did not comment to the Leader Herald on whether or not he would be giving back the $14,000 raise due to the serious financial difficulties the city is facing.
The city charter provides the mayor a salary capped at $185,000.
With the car allowance, the total would have been
$197,000, a salary larger than the mayor of Boston is paid.
There remains the question about vacation days as part of the mayor’s salary.
The mayor insists he has no set vacation days.
He claims he works every day, even if he is vacationing in Aruba.
It is estimated that last year, the mayor took off approximately 75 days during which he was away from the city.
He insists those days are not vacation days.
He claims as long as he has his cell phone, he is working. The mayor has apparently ordered reductions in salary of nearly all the city’s department heads, as well as laying off about 80 personnel. Further cuts are expected in order to meet the likeli- hood of a large drop in available cash and income.