Local News

Council delays action on salary adjustments

SEBRING - City employees and administrators will not receive any pay adjustments until next year's budget, the City Council decided this week.

The Sebring Fire Department, the Sebring Police Department and the City Clerk's Office asked for salary increases for administrative and clerical positions based on a comparison of salaries in several cities, the same-type comparison used to support an increasing the salary for city administrator Scott Noethlich.

Council members voted 4-1 in January to raise Noethlich's salary from $72,101 to $90,126, a 25 percent increase. They said the increased was based on his good job and salary comparisons with other cities, such as Avon Park, Haines City, Palatka and Lake Wales.

Salary adjustments proposed at the meeting this past were based largely on the comparisons with those cities and would have been funded by money available within the department budgets.

But, Council president Andrew Fells, who joined John Griffin and Scott Stanley in voting to table the requests, said that while he was not necessarily against the salary adjustments, he felt the council had indicated they should go through the city administrator's office rather than directly to the council.

Fells said he hesitated to support the tabling motion because he wanted to raise his concerns about the process by which the recommendations reached the council.

On the other hand, Clark, who along with Bud Whitlock opposed the tabling motion, said he believed that if the council favored giving Noethlich a raise based on the comparison, the other salary adjustments should be approved.

"If it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander," he said.

Clark said he wanted a better study to justify the increase for Noethlich, but once council members granted the raise for the city administrator, that resolved the issue.

The requests included increasing Fire Chief Brad Batz's salary from $67,772 to $82,539; Police Chief Thomas Dettman's salary from $80,113 to $85,500; and the City Clerk Kathy Haley's salary from $56,068 to $65,560.


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