Response to city administrator pay
I’m writing in regards to statements made by Jack Eddy and others regarding recent city employee pay raises.
Jack and I spoke the same day his letter-to-the-editor was printed and discussed several city issues. He was kind enough to say that he doesn’t believe the council members are of below-average intelligence (thanks, Jack); he just fears that we’re being led around by our administration.
I’d like to share with readers what I shared with Jack in regards to the council’s discussions on this topic that was not included in the Ledger article.
The original statement the Ledger printed about city administrator Kevin Flanagan’s annual performance review was two brief sentences. It did not mention the council’s policy to have any pay raise requests first sent to our Personnel Committee for in-depth review before being brought before the whole council for discussion and vote.
At the heart of that discussion are several questions: “Does paying our city managers comparable wages to other Iowan towns our size help ensure competency? Does it cost more to rehire and retrain new employees than to give occasional raises to those we have who already know our town? Are we making wise use of taxpayers’ money by investing not only in city infrastructure but in city personnel?”
These points were discussed at length at more than one council meeting and the majority of the council felt that the answer to all of them is “Yes.”
Staying informed and understanding complex city issues requires more time than simply reading the local paper. The city tries to help keep everyone informed by having all council meetings recorded by the Fairfield Media Center for airing on local public access and made available online. Full council and committee meeting agendas and minutes are posted on the city website, www.cityoffairfieldiowa.com, or can be accessed at city hall.
It takes time stay up to date on city business, but most people will agree that it’s time well spent.
– Michael Halley, Fourth Ward City Councilman