salaries still lower than those in comparable cities
By Di Lewis
April 14, 2006 | SMITHFIELD -- City
employees are paid less than employees in comparably
sized cities, said City Manager Jim Gass at Wednesday's
City Council meeting.
The meeting set out budget concerns for the council
to consider before the tentative budget is set on May
10 and the public hearing takes place on June 14.
"We were all down at 80 percent of what other cities
were making at one point and we're slowly and methodically
moving up. The city can't afford or justify paying to
the level that we are paying right now," Gass said,
noting that along with the police force, he would be
paid lower than similar positions in other cities.
Employee salaries are determined by a specific formula
that sets the time an employee has worked for the city
and the time the employee has been at a specific job
at 25 percent each of the equation. The other 50 percent
is determined by job performance, set by yearly performance
reviews. These considerations are then factored into
the formula where base and maximum pay are determined
by a comparison to similar jobs at comparably-sized
cities. Bonuses are given for additional levels of higher
High turnover is one factor in why Smithfield employees
are receiving lower salaries than their counterparts,
Gass said, but that the numbers are catching up and
he expects the number to be equal in the next seven
or eight years. "I think our employees do more than
any other cities in similar positions, though," added
Dean Clegg, the city recorder, said the formula they
base salaries off of is the best method because "it
is the same across the board" and people know why their
salaries are set where they are at.
The main problems are complaints of favoritism in
performance reviews and the numbers from other cities
are always from the past year, so the numbers are slightly
outdated, Gass said.
A raise in impact fees for residents was the other
main topic of discussion. Gass said Smithfield's impact
fees are lower than those of most similar cities. The
largest increase came in the category of parks and recreation
where the fee was raised from $900 to $1,000.
Councilwoman Kris Monson said, "I think we're allowing
so many homes to come into Smithfield that we should
go up to at least $1,100 to provide green spaces for
these kids to play in to make up for what we're taking
"That's quite a jump," said Councilman Dennis Watkins.
He said the current proposed raise of 11 percent is
a lot of money and if the money isn't spent within seven
years it has to be rebated. Watkins said the added fee
raise would be too high.
Culinary water impact fees will also be going up.
A public hearing for the impact fees is set for May