City Budget, Tax Levy, Pay Raises

Update: Everything passed. Aldermen Callahan and Meitzler held firm against the pay raises.

Tonight (12/7) at 7:30pm, The Batavia City Council is set to approve a budget, tax levy, and 2.5% pay raises for non-union employees. Based on last week’s COW, it looks like the budget will increase spending, running a deficit but dipping into reserves to keep the tax rate the same as last year (but if your home’s assessed value went up, your taxes will probably go up too since EAV x rate = taxes).

As for the 2.5% pay raises for non-union employees, several aldermen, especially Callahan, Knopp, and Uher, argued that citizens are hurting, losing jobs, and taking pay cuts because of Covid, and increasing pay right now for City employees is not appropriate. One suggested that pay raises be postponed 6 months and reevaluated then, based on what’s happening with Covid and the economy.

But City Administrator Laura Newman kept pushing incessantly, over and over, for that pay raise NOW (hers included, though she doesn’t say it). The aldermen that were holding out seemed to grow tired and wear down as the meeting passed 10:00pm. They settled on a compromise: cut $150,00 from the budget to cover the pay raises, give the 2.5% pay raises now, reevaluate the cut $150,000 in 6 months to maybe add it back.

Below is a chart of 5 top paid non-union employees (chart includes salary and health insurance, and $6000 car stipend in some cases; NOT included is pension contribution, which can be over $20,000!):

What do you think? Should the Council give them the pay raises? Wait 6 months? Freeze it for the year because they got raises in 2020 while privately employed people lost jobs and faced cuts in pay?

ALDERMEN NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU. If you say nothing, they interpret it as you have given them permission to vote as they want. Really they do.

Agenda with instructions how to attend the virtual meeting are here: https://www.cityofbatavia.net/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_12072020-1651?html=true

You can email the Aldermen and Mayor here (ASAP because the meeting starts 7:30pm): citycouncil@cityofbatavia.net

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