By ANDREA POTEET
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – Acting City Administrator Dave Boomer won’t get a $12,000 raise to take on full time City Administrator duties after a City Council vote Tuesday.
After much debate about a proposed salary plan submitted by Boomer – a plan that included a salary bump from $75,000 to $87,000 for him, a raise from $42,000 to $63,000 for Human Resources Director Don Wood to take on his current job full-time and the hiring of two additional building inspectors, all for $100,000 in salaries and fringe benefits – the city council voted down 4-3 a proposal to accept the proposal with a requirement that Boomer trim $19,000 from the package.
The $19,000 trim would bring it in line with John Zech’s $81,000 salary, which was allocated under the current budget.
Councilman Dennis Hayes said he saw room for negotiation in the numbers, but thought the council should hire the staff Boomer thought he’d need to be successful.
“I think we have to give deference to the guy we’ve asked to take the job, who has taken the job with no promise and has been responsive to both citizen and council delegate alike,” he said.
In their arguments, some councilors mentioned the need for more staff, a common theme echoed in meetings with review team from the State Treasury earlier that day.
Councilman Bob Keenan recommended a salary of $48,000 for Wood, as it was what his predecessor made. He said if cost savings from labor negotiations – one of Wood’s specialities – materialize after a year, he would consider a raise.
Councilman Larry Templin said he could not support raises while the city faces a $6 million deficit.
“At this point, I can’t imagine we want to spend more money on people who work in the office when we have water main breaks that are waiting (to be fixed),” he said, “we have trees that are rotted and not being cut, we have roads that need repaired. We are asking for concessions from our union people and we want to run around and give raises to a handful of people? To me, it’s not fair.”
Boomer, who assumed the position in May upon the resignation of Zech, said he asked the city to keep the “interim” title so he could return to his prior position as building official in the event that the city is assigned an emergency financial manager, who would likely dismiss a city administrator.