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City manager’s salary goes up

In a 6-2 vote, City Council on Wednesday hiked City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn’s salary by 14 percent and made it retroactive to Dec. 1, 2012.

She now makes $178,000, which is up from $155,952 — an increase of $22,048.

The increase is slightly less than the $183,492 proposed in April as part of the budget process, which was quickly taken off the table once it became public.

The vote was not part of the original City Council agenda disseminated last week. Councilman Charles Parr made a motion to add it to the closed-session agenda after the work session and again made the motion under new business in the regular session to bring it to a vote.

Some City Council members praised Cuffee-Glenn and said she deserves the raise.

“You have worked very hard, and this city has produced,” Vice Mayor Charles Brown said. “The quality of life has improved.”

Brown added that her salary “still is below average in the region.”

Mayor Linda T. Johnson added her praise of the city manager.

“We are so, so fortunate to have you,” Johnson said, adding that the salary increase isn’t about just Cuffee-Glenn. “It’s more than about a person; it’s about a position as well. (It’s) knowing that we value the position that we have.”

Councilman Michael Duman said his decision to vote for the increase was partially based on the potential situation if Cuffee-Glenn were to leave.

“What would it take to solicit and have a competent city manager,” he said. “We would be lucky to have one at (the previous) level.”

In their first full meeting, newly elected City Council members Roger Fawcett and Lue Ward both voted against the increase, saying they have not had enough time to evaluate the city manager’s performance.

“I surely think the city manager has done a good job,” Fawcett said. “I won’t say whether or not she deserves that raise … I think I can better give a vote in the future.”

Ward said, “It’s unfair for me to even try to vote on this situation.”

The motion did not address salaries for the other three City Council appointees — the city assessor, city clerk and city attorney — who also were recommended to receive hefty raises as part of last year’s budget process.

All four council appointees received 3-percent raises, like every other employee, in the 2012-2013 budget, which took effect July 1. Cuffee-Glenn’s salary before then was $151,410.