in Houston, Texas
Raises for top officials leads to public shaming in McAllen; most give up salary increases
Tuesday, Jun 12, 2012, 01:22PM CST
By Mark Lisheron
money

Note to very important City of Keller officials from very important City of McAllen officials: shame should count for something when your raises are made public.

McAllen’s public utility manager, government affairs director and deputy and assistant city managers relinquished raises totalling $26,000 a year just days after the local newspaper, the McAllen Monitor, wrote about them.

It seems the raises didn’t go over well at City Hall, where lower-ranking municipal employees got their 1 percent pay increase in October of 2009.

City Manager Mike Perez said he gave three of the four employees, who make $150,000, $125,000  and $120,000, raises after they agreed to take on some of the duties of an assistant city manager who left the city’s employ.

The fourth, who makes $84,000, got a raise to bring his salary into line with directors of government affairs in other cities, Perez said.

Perez told the City Commission, some of whom said the raises surprised them, he hadn’t thought through how the rest of the city staff might react to the salary increases.

He might have gotten a pretty good idea talking to the city employees in Keller. Back in May, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram disclosed that the city manager there used much of the salary of a departing city manager to dole out $75,000 in raises to four top managers and hire a $55,000-a-year management assistant.

And this after the former city manager told the world he was leaving because, frankly, there wasn’t enough work to go around.

No similar self-flagellation and salary surrender has so far been reported in Keller. Which should come as a relief to Rigo Villarreal, who earns almost $115,000 as McAllen’s superintendent of bridges.

As of Monday, Villarreal was alone among managers, saying nothing about the $12,000 raise he got last September.

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Comments
Larry Hurtado
Friday, 06/15/2012 - 04:53PM

This does not seem that uncommon, substantial raises for the top levels and 1% for everyone else. Hardly seems fair. Im glad most rescinded the raises. Ive built a site to address issues like this and address government accountability head on, RealGovt.com. By people posting experiences with government employees and officials, it establishes a history and we hold them accountable for the job they are entrusted to do.

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