City council considers pay raises for city manager, city attorney

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The Victoria City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on giving pay raises to two top city employees.

The resolution would affect the salaries of City Manager Charmelle Garrett and City Attorney Thomas Gwosdz.

Mayor Will Armstrong said the two employees, who work on a contractual basis, are well-deserving.

"There is considerable flexibility" in the budget, Armstrong said. "We don't have an assistant city manager right now, so that particular city salary has not been paid for several weeks."

The resolution would increase Garrett's salary 3 percent or $4,890, to $167,890 from $163,000.

Gwosdz's salary could increase 5 percent to $131,250, from $125,000.

Armstrong said the council gave a 3 percent across-the-board raise to all city employees. When Garrett's review came up in January, including her in the raise was the intention.

Armstrong said Gwosdz's proposed raise was higher because "he had taken a considerably lesser salary than the previous city attorney."

"He's not what I would consider a young attorney, but we wanted to bring him up to the going price of what a good city attorney is," Armstrong said. "You spend the money, you get good people."

Councilman Tom Halepaska said the increase is "fair and prudent."

"The city does not run itself, it takes management," he said.

However, Councilman Gabriel Soliz said his constituents have asked to "hold off" the decision.

"The percentages don't sound bad. It's just the amount that people can't get past," Soliz said, after canvassing about 40 residents.

A man who lives in Soliz's district and works in the private sector has not had a raise in three years, Soliz said.

"The public sector should be a reflection of the private sector," he said.

While he said his personal opinion is that the two employees have done a good job, his vote will side with his district.