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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Four high-ranking city officials will not get raises despite getting about a $1,600 bonus last year.

The commission voted 4-3 to not give raises to Gainesville Regional Utilities General Manager Ed Bielarski, City Auditor Carlos Holt, City Attorney Nicolle Shalley and City Clerk Omichele Gainey.

Commissioners Harvey Ward, Gigi Simmons, Adrian Hayes-Santos and Mayor Lauren Poe voted against the pay increase because they said it wouldn’t be fair when some city employees make less than a living wage, which is $15 an hour.

“There was a lot to be done and you performed on it,” Ward said to the city officials. “But I’m not convinced on the raises.”

Commissioners Helen Warren, David Arreola and Gail Johnson voted to grant the raise.

Two percent raises for one year, which totaled $19,222, were budgeted, said Lisa Jefferson, director of human resources.

Before deciding whether to use the budgeted funds for the raise, the commissioners gave evaluations of the four city officials on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being unsatisfactory and 5 being outstanding. The scores from the commission were combined to get an average rating.

Interim City Manager Deborah Bowie and Equal Opportunities Director Teneeshia Marshall did not receive evaluations because they are new to their roles, Jefferson said.

Shalley had a 4.571 average rating. Bielarski and Holt received a 4 average rating. Gainey had a 3.86 average rating.

Hayes-Santos gave out the lowest scores, rating Bielarski, Holt and Gainey at 2. Ward gave all the officers a 5 rating.

Commissioner Helen Warren, who also gave all high ratings, said she thought the officers earned a raise.

“I feel like two percent is not a lot,” Warren said. “These individuals earned more than just a pat on the back.”

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The city commission plans to discuss the evaluations of the six high-ranking city officials in more detail at their next meeting on Feb. 21.

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