by JULIE B. MAGLIO
On Sept. 16, 2020 city council members approved the ad valorem millage rate of 5.9000 which will result in a tax decrease for the citizens of the city. This millage rate is a 2.30% decrease over the current year’s rolled–back rate of 6.0389. The final vote was 3-2 approving the millage rate with council members Betty Erhard and Kemerer voting against it. Erhard adamantly disapproved of the $22,000 in funding going to the Brooksville Main Street organization. There were several citizen comments against the BMS funding as well.
With a millage rate of 5.9000, the city anticipates bringing in $67,347 less than last year through ad valorem property taxes ($2,860,672 vs. $2,928,019 in 2019).
City of Brooksville FY 2020-2021 Budget
During the final budget hearing, council members had a lengthy discussion on how the 4% employee raises will be implemented. Vice Mayor Brayton said that it needs to be applied across all payment levels in order to retain and recruit employees.
Some council members thought it would be applied to only employees who had been with the city over one year.
Mayor Bernardini made a motion to add in the policy that the 4% increase raises would only be provided to employees of one year or more. The motion passed 4-1 with Brayton voting against it.
Another question was if they would include department heads in the 4% salary increase as well as how often department heads are evaluated. Currently, there is 1 new department head and a total of six total department heads.
Betty Erhard made a motion for the city manager to evaluate the department heads for a 0-4% raise. The motion passed 5-0.
Councilmember Kemerer made a motion relating to how the 4% pay raises would be implemented: across all pay grades.
Some confusion ensued between the first motion that passed and the current motion.
Kutney recapped the motion on the table, saying that it’s a 4% pay raise from the bottom of the pay scale to the top of the pay scale. The motion failed 3-2.
There was some consensus that the pay raise implementation will be brought forward at a later date.
The FY 2020-2021 budget was approved 3-2, with Kemerer and Erhard voting against approval.