Archive for Monday, July 2, 2012

Basehor City Council eyeing pay bump for employees

Basehor City Hall is at 2620 N. 155th St.

Basehor City Hall is at 2620 N. 155th St.

July 2, 2012

The Basehor City Council is poised to back up its talk about giving city employees a bump in pay.

Council members at a work session Monday signaled support for a 2013 pay proposal providing more than $90,000 in salary increases that skew toward lower- and mid-level workers.

The plan was created by Interim City Administrator Lloyd Martley along with council members Brian Healy and Vernon J. Fields, after Mayor David Breuer tasked them last month with studying employee pay.

“What we’re trying to do with this is just realign the salaries that we feel are out of line with our competitors,” Martley said Monday.

The plan would give all city employees a 2 percent cost-of-living pay increase, along with additional bumps for all of the city’s full-time low- and mid-level workers, ranging from about $1,000 per year to about $4,500 per year. Most would receive about a $2,000 increase, and most work in the police department.

Those adjustments are based on a survey of workers’ pay in surrounding cities — cities that range in size from Tonganoxie and Bonner Springs to Overland Park and Kansas City, Kan.

“We’re going to at least get people raised to a point where, in comparison to the other cities in this area, they will be competitive,” Healy said.

Healy, Fields and Martley also proposed a new salary structure that would include performance-based increases. The city has not used performance evaluations to determine pay in several years, Martley said, instead relying on a matrix that awarded 2.5 percent increases every two years regardless of performance.

“There was no differentiation between a really good employee and just an average employee,” Martley said.

The new pay system would increase the maximum possible pay for the city’s department heads by as much as $28,000. But the proposed salaries in the 2013 pay plan would put those department heads on the low end of their pay scale, with a number of performance-dependent steps required before they hit their maximum.

For 2013, Healy said, the city’s upper-level employees agreed they were comfortable without any pay adjustments beyond the staff-wide cost-of-living increase.

“They brought that to us voluntarily,” Healy said. “We didn’t ask for that.”

Council member Travis Miles said he’d support even greater pay increases for some positions than what was presented, for police officers and mid-level supervisors in the public works department.

Healy said he agreed that wages could be more competitive, but it would take several years to bring them up to that level.

“You can’t take the entire apple at one time,” Healy said.

Altogether, the proposed 2013 plan would increase wages by about $94,000, assuming all positions are filled for the entire year. Breuer asked the staff to present two wage plans — the one presented Monday and one with the additional increases proposed by Miles — at the council’s July 16 meeting for possible inclusion in the city’s 2013 budget. The long-term pay changes — the introduction of performance reviews and new salary ranges — will require additional study before they can be approved, Healy said.

Also during the work session Monday, council members discussed a possible study of the city’s sewer rates.

About 18 months after the council voted to increase residents’ sewer rates by about 40 percent in order to repay state loans on the city’s wastewater treatment plant, the city’s sewer fund is already projected to become insolvent by 2015, according to a report from City Clerk Corey Swisher.

Slowed growth has resulted in fewer connections to the city’s sewer system in recent years, Swisher said, causing the sewer fund to fall short of projections.

Breuer said the council could contract with a financial adviser for a study to determine what to do with the city’s sewer rates. But, he said, previous councils did not follow the recommendations of a previous study, opting not to raise rates during the high-growth years of the mid-2000s, and that contributed to some of the fund’s current problems.

“If you don’t do what the study says, then you might as well not do it,” Breuer said.

The city’s financial adviser, Springsted Inc., has offered to perform a utility study for $12,600.

Comments

AboutTime 2 years, 1 month ago

Unless Basehor City Council stops this, employee's will win second lottery this year. (First was 100% City paid Health benefits passed last month)

City Superintendent new pay maximum of $99,403.00 per year. 39.7% pay increase from current pay

City Police Chief new pay maximum of $96,408.00 per year. 43.1% pay increase from current pay

City Engineer new pay maximum of $98,113.60 per year. 49.8% pay increase from current pay

City Finance Director/Clerk new pay maximum of $87,214.40 per year. 32.1% pay increase from current pay

The department heads stated in their meetings they were wanting increases for their employees-- Looks like they were also looking for some $$$$ for themselves.

Police officers new pay maximum of $56,596.80 per year. 62.4% pay increase from current pay.

Under the new plan nothing would prevent the Mayor from raising an employee to a higher step without Council approval. The City Superintendent literally could get $99,403.00 making him the highest paid in Kansas for that position.

What will the Council do to protect our tax money from being pilfered?

0

johninbasehor 2 years, 1 month ago

About time: Becky and the other blogger that use this name on their shared computer:

Before you and Becky get all twisted out of shape over these salary ranges, lets see what happens. For once, we have a council of educated people running things. You always think of too many what ifs? With a 2% raise per year, how long does it take to get to the top of ones scale? Of course, the city superintendent is not going to make as much money as the city superintendent of Overland Park or Kansas City, Kansas. One thing for sure, the police officers did need their pay brought up for the risks they and their families take every day on the job.

0

LR 2 years, 1 month ago

It's obvious "About Time" is referring to the highest paid City Superintendent in Kansas with the same population as Basehor, not the cities with huge populations--duh.

Why not address the question..."What will the Council do to protect our tax money from being pilfered?" Who cares who wrote the question--always discrediting reasonable, reality-based comments, now it'll be my turn to get bashed just for speaking up--sheeez, so junior highish!

So to keep up with the "competition," our taxes will go up to cover this pay increase/bribe, as though City Hall can't get enough of our money already. The only difference this time is that it was done out in the open. "No difference between a really good employee and just an average employee?" Looks like there was a big difference, since the track record of City Hall is to get rid of all the really good employees, so we already know who'll get the performance-based raises! Very disappointing.

0

Dennis Mertz 2 years, 1 month ago

John,

When the Council says "NO", then and only then will I say they are running "things" as you put it. So far everything has been rubber stamped.

The 2% COLA is adjusted to the step plan as a whole. The Mayor then moves the employees between the steps. The Council will have NO say if an employee is moved to the highest step or not. Several employees are maxed out currently. Previous Admin raised them up several steps the minute it was created in 2007. I helped MaryAnn Mogle create the current step plan in May of 2007. The current step plan capped the maximum and was adjusted many times over the last 5 years by Council. The 2013 proposal is by far the largest increase in the history of Basehor City wages. I have never heard of a 62.4% possible increase. This completely removes any say by the Council for the next decade unless stopped.

Abouttime,

If you would like the excel spreadsheet with all the wages of employees in Kansas email me and I will send the LKM Wage Survey including 200+ cities. mertz@swbell.net

Question: 1)If they wages go up and the mill levy stays the same then what must be reduced to balance the budget? City services? 2)If the sewer fund will have a deficit in 2015 then why would the Mayor suggest to transfer $47,810.00 (almost double this year) from the sewer fund to yet cover more wages thus depleting the sewer fund faster?

0

Dennis Mertz 2 years, 1 month ago

I must say that my previous post does not in any way say that I am against some positions getting increases. After reviewing the Salary Survey again it appears that police officers II and III could use an minimum increase but the maximum is out of sight.

There has to be a positive solution to this. The plan presented is not the one. Council should go back to the drawing board and work something out for the lower end employees. Basehor is top heavy in salaries. The Basehor Police Chief grossed almost $100k last year. just a few years ago the chief in Basehor made less then $50k......All while the police officers live in poverty at 1/3 (one third) his salary.

0

Thinkaboutit 2 years, 1 month ago

I have to say I agree with Mertz for the most part. I have strongly disagreed with him in the past but he is right here. The officers deserve the money. Granted this is not the busiest city in kansas, but the danger is always there. Danger or no Danger, these officers work long inconvenient hours including nights, weekends, and holidays. Not saying chief does't work hard because I'm sure he does but he isn't the one out there at midnight in sub-zero weather or on christmas morning instead of being with family. Keep up the good work Basehor PD. I feel very safe in my city and thank you for that.

0

ProudOfOurCity 2 years, 1 month ago

Dennis Mertz: Nobody cares what you think........................you were recalled for being dishonest. Remember?

0

Dennis Mertz 2 years, 1 month ago

No, there was never any claim of dishonesty. It was the former Mayor who was accused of being dishonest about changing a contract without the Council's approval.

0

Chieflloydmartley 2 years, 1 month ago

Dennis, most of the time I simply ignore the comments posted in the paper because they are that, people's comments. However, your most recent post was such a blatant misrepresentation of my gross salary I felt the need to give you the accurate information with hopes that if your going to criticize me publicly you would at least do it accurately. For the record, which is public information, as you know, my 2011 W-2 shows my reportable wages to the IRS to be 65,347.71 and let's not forget that included 2,600.00 dollars for my responsibilities as the assistant city administrator which includes all of the cities payroll responsibilities and included three months of minimal pay for my duties as the interim city administrator after the former city administrator was terminated. For future reference if your going to try and trash my reputation publicly, please do so accurately.

On another note, you know without a doubt, no one would ever get a 62.4% increase. In fact, most of the recommended increases are between 4 and 8 percent.

Again, accurate criticism would be appreciated especially when my gross salary was based from the accumulation of three different jobs/responsibilities and is way less than 100k. It would be appreciated if you would actually state the facts as they are when posting comments for the public to read and judge.

0

Dennis Mertz 2 years, 1 month ago

The gross cost for the Chief of police of Basehor was listed on the 2012 budget as $98,516.00...... This is before the assistant administrator stipend.

Was this published incorrectly?

0

Thinkaboutit 2 years, 1 month ago

Well the one time I somewhat agree with deniis he was telling a lie. I should have known Dennis could't tell the truth, he never could! Dennis this is why you were recalled! Your all about trying to get attention instead of doing any good for anybody. I feel dumb for believing you! I do stand by my comment of the PD doing a great job. Thank you all including Chief, and good luck to all of you with your raises, I will support that anytime.

0

Dennis Mertz 2 years, 1 month ago

I did not lie to anyone. When comparing cost it make good sense to base it off what the overall cost are. Such if an NFL player signed up for $5 million a year for 5 years with a $25 million dollar signing bonus as a benefit then the player really cost you $10 million a year overall.

0

Thinkaboutit 2 years, 1 month ago

Just because I wanna see what lie you come up with now..... Dennis, where did you come up with those numbers for chief that were so obviously fabricated? I applaud chief for setting things straight. Dennis there is a lot of land and/or homes for sale farther west in kansas. They may not know your reputation! You could be a mayor!

0

ProudOfOurCity 2 years, 1 month ago

Thank you Chief for setting Mr. Mertz straight. He seems to spread malicious rumors around about several good people in hopes of destroying lives and reputations. Hopefully one of these days he and his cronies will move out of Basehor and take the cloud of darkness with them. They will not be missed.

0

ProudOfOurCity 2 years, 1 month ago

When I speak of Mertz and his cronies, I am speaking about the likes of Box, Dysart, Washington and his other misguided followers.

0

johninbasehor 2 years, 1 month ago

A personal note to the Chief: Personally Lloyd, I think you do walk on water. For anyone to be Chief of Police and additionally take over the mess created when the former city administrator was fired by our micro managing council, and put up with all the attacks from a certain faction in town attached to the recalled city council, and you we able to do all this for only $65,000 , I think you are a saint and the city should be very glad they have someone like you in their employ. By the way, I do not work for the city of Basehor, nor have I ever received compensation from Basehor in any form.

0

Dennis Mertz 2 years, 1 month ago

The gross cost for the Chief of police of Basehor was listed on the 2012 budget as $98,516.00...... This is before the assistant administrator stipend.

Was this published incorrectly?

0

Dennis Mertz 2 years, 1 month ago

The gross cost for the Chief of police of Basehor was listed on the 2012 budget as $98,516.00...... This is before the assistant administrator stipend.

Was this published incorrectly?

I know without a doubt that our police officers have improved in this town and do a great job. I have read 3 years of confidential police activity reports from the chief. I know what they are up against. I appreciate how they have stopped the crime at the edge of our city and criminals know to not come here.

We should pay fair wages to those on the street. It is not fair for those behind the desk to jump on the wage increase band wagon when this City has a tight budget.

0

AboutTime 2 years, 1 month ago

Dennis thank you for the spreadsheets. This shows significant raises in the past. Now they want huge increases. INCREDIBLE!!

.............................................2006..........2010........2012....+Benefits.....Total 2012 Cost
Chief of Police.....................$51,771......$67,960....$69,360...+$24,381....=$93,741 (2011 98K) City Superintendent.............$44,533......$59,310....$70,150...+$22,737....=$92,887 Planning / Engineer.............$52,000......$63,586....$64,857...+$21,831....=$86,688 City Clerk / Finance.............$43,930......$58,915....$63,941...+$19,294....=$83,236 Sergeant............................$37,565.......$44,616....$45,638...+$21,965....=$67,603 Police Officer......................$26,790.......$33,987....$34,058...+$16,647....=$50,705

0

Ronald Grover 2 years, 1 month ago

There is a significant difference in pay and compensation package, anyone knows that. Or at least I would hope everyone would knows that.

Also, a compensation package of under 100K for a department head with multiple direct reports is a bargain. Truth is I wouldn't do that work for that amount of compensation.

The whole idea of compensation is to get quality and qualified people to perform a set of tasks and assume a set of responsibilities. If the goal is a race to the bottom it is possible to pay very little but you must be willing to assume the associated costs and absorb the unintended consequences of that system. Myself I'd prefer to pay the money to attract top quality people and reap the rewards of a professional team. Obviously from the results of the recall election a majority feel that way too.

Wake up people, it is time to start living in the real world. We want a professionally managed city then lets start acting like it and paying what it takes to be a first class city. Otherwise it is small town minds with small town attitudes and we will be second class forever.

My last point is if you have a personal issue issue with individuals then address those and not hide behind a smoke screens. I don't really know anyone in the city's employ except Lloyd Martley. Lloyd is a quality and honorable person, I know him by refereeing basketball and football with him for 10 years. Let's get out of the personal attacks and allow the man to do his job of upgrading the department and in turn upgrading our city.

0

LightTheDarkCorners 2 years, 1 month ago

Pretty big smoke screen there in front of you sport. Your accounting is so weak, I wouldn't hire you for 100K or minimum wage for that matter - see my reply to eugenestoner for elementary accounting instruction.

0

Ronald Grover 2 years, 1 month ago

LOL I've been managing manufacturing plants and overseeing the administration of multiple entities for one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the Kansas City area. I've heard no complaints, in fact my management skills in this area are praised and rewarded handsomely. Elementary accounting instruction???? LOL

LightTheDarkCorners, your regressive ideas and mindset will do nothing to further your cause. In fact as shown from the recall election your cause is quickly being marginalized in the community.

0

AboutTime 2 years, 1 month ago

Tonganoxie just hired their city administrator at $73,500.

2013 the Basehor Chief of Police will be at $68,719 + $7,500 stipend = $76,219 -- with benefits it is over 100K

0

johninbasehor 2 years, 1 month ago

According to the Tonganoxie Mirror, the city administrator will make $73500 plus benefits. I am sure he gets health insurance for him AND HIS FAMILY, and a car allowance. When someone asks how much you make, they refer to the compensation on your paycheck, not what your retirement or health care costs are.

0

Talisman 2 years, 1 month ago

Dennis is at it again, always trying to confuse the situation by misleading. Gross costs on your spreadsheet include social security, medicare, unemployment insurance and worker comp costs for employees. That is the cost of doing business! I don't believe any sane person would consider this as part of their salary or benefits but we obviously aren't dealing with reality. Dennis Mertz was fired from the city council and he continues to show us why!

0

eugenestoner 2 years, 1 month ago

Dennis, Your analogy is not accurate. Comparing salary and compensation to employment benefits such as insurance, retirement pension, is misleading and doesn't make good sense. In the real world or the NFL. In the NFL, a player's salary, as defined by the CBA, includes any "compensation in money, property, investments, loans or anything else of value to which an NFL player may be awarded" excluding such benefits as insurance and pension. A salary can include an annual pay and a one-time "signing bonus" which is paid in full when the player signs his contract. For the purposes of the salary cap, the signing bonus is prorated over the life of the contract rather than to the year in which the signing bonus is paid. Thus if a player receives a $10 million signing bonus for a five-year contract, $2 million per year would count against the salary cap for the life of the contract, even though the full $10 million was paid up front during the first year of the contract. However, player contracts are typically "back loaded" and not guarenteend. This means that a four year contact for 14 million might include a 4 mil signing bonus, then salary of 1 mil for year one, 2 mil for year two, 3 mil for year three and 4 mil for year four. It is true that the bonus is prorated (in name only) because it has already been paid. The rest of the contract is paid only if certain conditions are met. So as you can see, none of this is comparable to any salary structure at Basehor. We don't have a CBA, we don't collect a signing bonus, and insurance/pension do not count as salary/wages. Not in the NFL, City of Basehor, JED Installation, or anywhere else.

0

LightTheDarkCorners 2 years, 1 month ago

You must be a government employee, possibly a public employee union member. This is a wonderful piece of magical accounting whhich comes right out of the AFSCME playbook and has very little to do with the question at hand.

Employee cost consists of all those costs related to having that employee on your roster. It includes wages, bonuses, health insurance, retirement (defined benefit or 401 programs), social security, medicare, uniforms, paid time off, individual training classes, tuition reimbursement, unemployment insurance and workers' compensation. Charges for each of these is based on per capita charge, % of W-2 wages, or % of total payroll.

If you don't consider all of these (and any I may have missed) you are under-reporting the cost of the employee to the taxpayer.

One of the tricks all governments including this city do to hide the true cost of their staffs is to move various costs into different accounts so that the public has a hard time judging whether the level and quality of service from their public servants is worth the price.

Will our service improve along with the higher pay? Hmmm good question.

0

Dennis Mertz 2 years, 1 month ago

The checks still total the same no matter how you divide it. Back end or front it still is a check to be written.

The gross cost is whatever it cost to employee the person. Does not matter how you slice it. This also makes it simple to talk apples to apples. This way it counts pension payments, insurance benefits, ss, medicare, and many other perks, stipends and bonus that may be given and can differ from eployee to employee. It would be unfair to the citizens to only show w-2's as some pensions / retirement rates are double than others.

0

Thinkaboutit 2 years, 1 month ago

Dennis as usaul was trying to make others look bad by bsing! The man is a liar and as crooked as they come! Dennis.... the city has spoken and said loud and clear they we don't want you involved with our government! Please get the point! You had your chance and showed your ability!

0

LR 2 years, 1 month ago

2 questions still not answered yet, just more juvenile name-calling and attempts at veiled threats.

Everybody knows that he who passes out the money is buying loyalty with the message of moving on and forgetting what's been done in the past, or more of the same will be dished out. It's okay to get paid what you are worth, but are you worth what you're getting paid when it's paid for the wrong reasons, especially when most is going to the higher end of the staff who use "new math"??

And what about that well-hidden CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, nationwide local govt. accounting since 1970, separate from annual budget and dept. budgets, never presented to the public, tax-payer supported/quasi-govt. private businesses known as "investments," but a city/county/state/federal govt. can claim a "need" for a tax raise because budget is broke, all the while hiding/dipping into millions that's in the CAFR)? Who's brave enough to expose that one down at City Hall??

Uh-Oh, that's 4, no 5 unanswered questions now. "Incoming!! Brace for attack!!" LOL!!

0

ProudOfOurCity 2 years, 1 month ago

Wherever Mertz is bloviating you can bet that LR will be right behind him.

0

Talisman 2 years, 1 month ago

"The Basehor Police Chief grossed almost $100k last year. just a few years ago the chief in Basehor made less then $50k......All while the police officers live in poverty at 1/3 (one third) his salary."

The above quote from Dennis Mertz is simply not true. The Chief did not gross almost $100,000. That might be the total cost to employ him but to say that he grossed that amount is a complete lie. We see through you Dennis.....give it up.

0

Dennis Mertz 2 years, 1 month ago

This is not a lie. I copied it directly from the 2012 budget that has the "2011 total employee cost"..

http://www.cityofbasehor.info/uploads/2012_salary_and_benefits_with_position_adjustment.pdf

If the editor does not like this link then maybe he will post it on the Basehor Sentinel website.

0

Thinkaboutit 2 years, 1 month ago

Gross salary is not the same as employee cost Dennis! You know that. You chose to say chief grossed nearly $100,000 in attempt to make him look bad. You are a liar! Plain and simple. You attempt to make others look bad because you made yourself look bad and got recalled!

Lr... If you want to ask the city questions, why not go to the council meeting and ask? This is not a q and a forum for the city. Your questions seem legit and dignified.... But I doubt people here including me can answer them. Why not go straight to the source?

0

Dennis Mertz 2 years, 1 month ago

Not a lie....

Do you know the truth? You do not! I tried to post the file directly from the approved budget which shows our Chief of Police with a "2011 Total employee cost" of $98,586.00 in BLACK AND WHITE!!!!!!

Please talk Apples to Apples when debating me on the cost to employee the person you disputing.

0

Thinkaboutit 2 years, 1 month ago

Yes it does say that! However you said in your original post that chief's salary was nearly $100k. Your chart says employee cost! Your twisting words in attempt to make people look bad.

0

ProudOfOurCity 2 years, 1 month ago

Dennis is really good at that. How is your business accounting working for you Dennis?

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.