Chief Administrative Officer Jim Duggan had an $81,184 salary last July, the start of fiscal 2012.
At the start of fiscal 2013 a week from Sunday, he'll be making $101,892.
Last July, the city budgeted $88,189 for the salary of City Solicitor Suzanne Egan. Come July 1, she'll be on track to make $100,393.
City Council endorsed these and other new salaries for Mayor Carolyn Kirk's top administrators Tuesday night when it approved the city's fiscal 2013 budget, which takes effect 10 days from today.
That $86.4 million budget, with expenses up by 3 percent — or $2.5 million — from this year's spending plan, raised salaries of 12 senior managers, from Duggan and Egan to Harbormaster James Caulkett.
Those raises came after the council increased the pay ranges for those managers in April. But the new pay ranges, which boosted the tops of the scales by, in some cases, as much as $20,000, were approved retroactive to January. So managers who were earning below the ranges' bottom lines earned increases to those levels. And those raises aren't the only pay increases many city department heads saw in last year.
"(The question) is, how much is too much in the aggregate," said Councilor Bruce Tobey.
Tobey put an amendment aimed at reducing Duggan's fiscal 2013 raise to 8 percent on the table during the council's Tuesday night budget meeting. He and Councilors Greg Verga and Bob Whynott said it wasn't the time to dole out double-digit increases to city management, especially after the city put pressure on lower level workers last year.
But Councilors Joe Ciolino, Melissa Cox, Steve LeBlanc, Sefatia Romeo-Theken, Jackie Hardy, and Paul McGeary voted against the amendment, leaving the latest round of raises in place.
Whynott said that, if the city says money's tight, it shouldn't be giving out substantial raises. City custodians, he noted, took a $2 an hour pay cut last year. While that pay was restored, he said, it doesn't add up to the management raises.
"We give the chiefs raises, but we have no money for the Indians," Whynott said.
McGeary said the raises are designed to catch management up with the raises city workers had received over the last 10 years. The city had not moved the pay scale for managers up since 2001. Management, he said, is part of the city's infrastructure, and like water pipes, it needs investment.
Senior management received incremental raises last year, and over the last few years, though.
Some managers received a 11/2 percent step raise last year, depending on when they were hired, said City Auditor Ken Costa. Managers are on a 12-step scale, and go up a step every year, as long has they're not at the top.
And when the city settled the Gloucester Middle Administrators Association (GMAA) contract, enior managers received, along with the union, a 2 percent cost of living raise. Costa said, historically, the city's given senior managers what benefits the GMAA negotiates. The cost of living increase, said Costa, wasn't in the initial fiscal 2012 budget because the GMAA contract wasn't settled until February.
Those raises, said Costa, are done by the administration, and like union contract agreements, don't need further council approval.
As to the retroactive raises that came with the hike in pay ranges, McGeary said the pay ranges changes moved most positions up a grade — while Duggan's position and the police and fire chiefs which went up two grades. So Duggan's new salary as approved in the fiscal 2013 budget — $101,892 — represents a raise of 23 percent over his initially budgeted pay for fiscal 2012, while Egan's raise represents a gain of 14 percent.
While Building Inspector Bill Sanborn was salaried at $68,055 as of last July, he's set to earn $77,574 in fiscal 2013, also up 14 percent. Donna Compton, the Purchasing Agent, made $68,005 at the start of the last fiscal year, and will make $74,794 in the coming year, up 9 percent.
Information Technology Director John Blanchard made $76.989 as of Dec. 31. He'll make $78,743 in Fiscal 2013, up just 2 percent. But Harbormaster Jim Caulkett made $60,400 at that time, and will make $70,101 in the coming fiscal year, up 16 percent. Library Director Carol Gray was making $71,161 as of Dec. 31, and will make $77,574 in Fiscal 2013, again a 9 percent bump.
On the other hand, City Clerk Linda Lowe — whose position comes under the council, not the mayor's office — was making $76,989 and will make $77,574 in Fiscal 2013, up less than 1 percent, Auditor Costa, also under the council, made $86,892 as of Dec. 31, and will make $91,806 in Fiscal 2013, an increase of 5 percent.
Mike Hale, whose salary is $118,572, did not receive a raise, neither did Chief Financial Officer Jeff Towne, who made $109,674, or Environmental Engineer Larry Durkin, who is making $76,989 in fiscal 2012.
Towne said Thursday that taking the salaries from before the retroactive pay scale shift and comparing them to the new raises isn't fair. He said that, when the city made the comparisons ,it used what managers would have been paid on July 1, 2012, if the reclassification never happened.
Managers were on track for another 2 percent cost of living increase, and 11/2 percent step increase in fiscal 2013, said Duggan.
But after discussions with the council's Budget and Finance Subcommittee, Duggan said, the city administration put a salary freeze in place across senior management, including positions that weren't reclassified this year, so management over the next year won't receive that 3.5 percent boost.
Steven Fletcher may be contacted at 1-978-283-7000 x3455, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stevengdt.