Brighton Council gives first OK on market-rate increase for city workers at July 1 meeting

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By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON – Full-time and regular part-time Brighton city workers will be receiving bump in their paychecks, effective Aug. 3.

Brighton City Council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance for the market rate adjustment during its regular meeting on July 1.

With retirement and Medicare costs included in the increase, the adjustment is anticipated to cost the city $128,702.51 through the end of the year and about an additional $304,200 in 2015.

The city approved the goal of getting staff to 100 percent median market in 2003; however they were not able to give employees market-rate adjustments during the economic downturn. Council approved a one-time special recognition bonus of $750 for employees in 2012 and a market-rate adjustment in 2013 ranging from 2 to 5 percent using a three-tiered approach.

Human Resources Director Karen Borkowski Surine said although they are giving employees a 2-percent market-rate increase, and in spite of council's previous efforts in 2013, the city remains 8 percent behind market rate.

“In order to preserve the gains that we made in 2013, council agreed that a 2-percent increase at this time was recommended and that we should come back at the end of the year and then again in 2015 as we always to,” she said.

Councilwoman Cynthia Martinez said the market-rate adjustment is important for employees and Councilwoman Joan Kniss said since joining council, she has been impressed with the quality of the city's employees. Echoing Kniss' thoughts was Councilman Ken Kreutzer, who said, “One thing that impressed me more than anything else, is the quality of the employees we have working for the city. And I'd like t do whatever we can to get them compensated to what they deserve.”

Councilwoman Lynn Baca said the adjustments are also important for the city to retain its employees. Mayor Dick McLean said it had been difficult to give employees salary increases over the "lean years” but said it's really amazing to see the longevity they have among the employees.

Pending council's approval of the second reading, Burkowski Surine said a supplemental budget amendment in the amount of $128,702.51 will be needed.


In other business:

  • Council unanimously accepted the bid and awarded a contract to A-1 Chipseal Co. in the amount of $497,673.25 for minor road repairs. Streets and Fleet Director Joe Smith said the company was the lowest bidder and has done quite a bit of work for the city before.

“Jacob's Run and Indigo Trails are the two larger areas we're looking at this year for slurry seals and there's a couple of areas on Baseline Road where we're doing cape seal,” he said, explaining that the work they're doing will stabilize the roads and preserve the pavement.

He said some work would also be done at the ball fields and the Recreation Center.

  • Council also accepted the bid and awarded a contract to ACC Roofing, Inc. in the amount of $253,840 for roof replacement work to be done at the Recreation Center and the Fleet Repair Shop. Due to the age and deteriorating conditions of the existing roofs, the city requested a “thermal plastic system” be used, which is a 30-year product.

    Council also approved a budget amendment of $11,672 to be used for the roof of the Fleet Repair Shop.

  • Council recognized city employees who participated in this year's Relay for Life event. City Clerk Natalie Hoel, who participated in the event, said the city's team was able to raise $3,211 which is the most they've ever raised. She said overall, Relay for Life was able to raise over $51,000 this year.

  • Two special study sessions have been scheduled for council to continue its pre-budget discussions and strategic approach for next year. The meetings will be held at 6 p.m. on July 14 and July 29 at city hall.

  • Council went into executive session for legal advice regarding water and mobile homes.