By SUMMER HAMPTON
At the Aug. 16, 2021 Brooksville City Council Regular Meeting, Kimberly Price HR Director, proposed a base salary recommendation for the City Manager and was asking for the council to approve. Since it was approved to move forward with the city manager search, HR did a market analysis to make sure they could come up with a competitive salary. She stated, “Based on a City comparative data analysis from similar municipalities, I would recommend a salary range of $84,114.00 to $111,788.20 for the new City Manager.”
In the competitive city manager salary analysis, local municipality data was provided and it is as follows:
Dade City-City Manager Salary: $ 98,906.00
(Population Size: 7,550)
Wildwood City Manager Salary: $ 105,000.00
(Population Size: 5,042)
Inverness City Manager Salary: $ 110,000.00
(Population Size: 46,000)
Crystal River City Manager Salary: $ 110,000.00
(Population Size 3,129)
Zephyrhills City Manager Salary: $ 105,000.00
(Population Size 15,575)
Council Member Erhard questioned if Price has ever been through a City Manager hiring process. To which Price responded she had not.
Then Erhard questioned Price’s job title, she stated, “If Kimberly was hired as an administrator, why is she now a director?”
Mayor stated that this doesn’t have anything to do with the discussion on the salary for City Manager and they need to move on with the discussion for approval for a salary. Erhard followed this by stating she believes the Mayor brushes off her comments and concerns because she is a woman. That is not showing respect for women.
Mayor responded by shutting down the conversation saying, “Thank you ma’am.”
Erhard then questioned Barbara Hitzemann’s involvement in the City Manager hiring process and her relationship to Kimberly Price. Price responded, “Barbara Hitzemann was the former HR Director for the county of Hernando for many years. She is also an HR attorney and she is the HR Director for Pasco County. She was my former boss and someone I network with on a regular basis, because of her professionalism and legal background.
She is well known to the council and to Hernando County. She has recruited many City Managers, all of this is why I offered her services.
Erhard stated she believes it’s a conflict of interest. Mayor then brought the discussion back to the council stating that he trusts the staff that works for them and their recommendations. Vice Mayor Battista made a motion to move forward with staff recommendations. Council Member Bailey gave a second. With no further discussion the council moved to vote.
The motion was passed 4- 1, Erhard opposing.