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Ott, auditor, clerks get cost-of-living raise

Monday, September 21, 2015 by Jo Clifton

With its three conservative members dissenting by abstaining, City Council late Thursday gave City Manager Marc Ott and three other employees who report directly to Council the same cost-of-living adjustment given the previous week to all civilian city employees. Mayor Steve Adler put the items on the agenda to give 3 percent raises to Ott, City Auditor Corrie Stokes, City Clerk Jannette Goodall and Acting Municipal Court Clerk Yolanda McKnight.

Adler said, “It makes sense to me that we would give the same 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment to these three city employees that we give to all of the city employees.”

He added, “We are going to have a discussion in the next couple weeks about what is the criteria for our evaluations in February of these folks to discuss performance. At that time we can discuss merit raises.” However, Adler continued, the 3 percent received by all civilian employees was a cost-of-living raise that was given “without regard to merit or performance,” he said.

Council Member Ora Houston made the motion, saying those employees should be treated the same as every other city employee. Council Member Leslie Pool seconded the motion, but Council Member Don Zimmerman, who pulled the items from the consent agenda, said he did not want to give the raises prior to the evaluation. “I can’t vote in favor,” he said. Council Members Ellen Troxclair and Sheri Gallo joined him in abstaining.

Pool asked Acting Assistant City Manager Mark Washington about the raise for McKnight, who is an interim clerk. Pool indicated that it was likely that Council would choose McKnight as the permanent Municipal Court clerk but had not yet done so. Washington said that McKnight would get a 3 percent raise based on the salary she is currently receiving. At the time that her position becomes permanent, he said, she will get a different salary. McKnight’s raise was actually approved earlier in the day.

This post has been corrected.

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