By LISA MACNEIL
Hernando Sun Reporter
At the August 12, 2019 Brooksville City Council Workshop, the council members concurred to move forward with salary increases for Brooksville city employees. A 3% increase is planned, which will result in an $86,000 payroll increase. Raises for the fire department are accounted for separately, and is expected to increase this number. Mark Kutney, City Manager told Hernando Sun that the Fire Department personnel are under and in the process of negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement and the figures will be determined in the bargaining process.
The City Manager, department heads and union employees are not factored into the projected increases. It was decided last year that these employees would receive raises based on the results of performance evaluations.
Council members Betty Erhard and Robert Battista agreed that at a 3% raise, as discussed and agreed upon in 2018 was acceptable, and considered standard. Though not opposing the other members, Pat Brayton stated he wished employees with longer tenures with the city would receive a higher raise. After some discussion, Robert Battista reported that such a framework does not exist in current policy, however, could be addressed in a workshop in the future.