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January 29, 2009
Members present: Virginia Onley, Chairperson, Jim Coyle, Steve Edwards, Jim Marrinan, Tom Moore
Staff in attendance: Claire Funkhouser, City Clerk; Brenda Bean, Deputy City Clerk; and Assistant City Attorney Sondra Block
Visitors in attendance: Contessa Crisostomo from the Gazette Newspapers
Chairperson Virginia Onley called the meeting to order and welcomed Jim Coyle, Jim Marrinan and Tom Moore as the newly appointed members to the group. Ms. Onley said that her term as chairperson had expired and said that she would be happy to serve in that capacity again. Commissioner Jim Marrinan moved that Virginia Onley serve as Chairperson, and Commissioner Steve Edwards seconded the motion and it was unanimously passed with all commissioners voting “aye.”
City Clerk Claire Funkhouser discussed the materials that were distributed for the meeting stating that this was just a starting point and that the Commission may wish to have more in terms of research.
Jim Marrinan talked about the appearance about the way things are getting done and the motivation behind setting up the Commission when he was on the Mayor and Council in order to take the consideration of compensation out of the purview of the elected officials. He said the intent was to make for a more transparent process.
Mr. Edwards said that he would like to see a comparative chart of governing bodies in cities that are comparable to Rockville. Mr. Moore asked that the method of determining those salaries be included as well. Mr. Coyle said that it might be good to look at previous reports from the Charter Review Commission because they looked at this issue as well.
There was broad discussion that covered a variety of aspects concerning compensation including:
Steve Edwards made a motion that, for the next two years, any increase to the Mayor and Council compensation be tied to the cost of living increase received by other city employees.
There was discussion on this motion that, because the Mayor and Council approve the COLAs, that any increase would be voted on by them. It should instead be tied to the CPI or set based upon a certain percentage. There was also discussion on the ramifications of any increase on the budget as well as the state of the economy in general.
At this point, Commissioner Edwards withdrew his motion, and discussion ensued on ways to possibly move forward on an increase based on a percentage tied to an impartial factor such as the CPI.
The meeting schedule was determined the Compensation Commission will meet as follows:
February 18 9 - 11:00 am (Diamond Back Conference Room)
March 10 7: 00 pm (Blue Crab Conference Room)
March 19 9: 00 am (Diamond Back Conference Room)
The Report of the Compensation Commission is due to the Mayor and Council by March 31, 2009 and all written testimony must be received by March 13th.
There was consensus to not hold a public hearing but, rather, advertise through all City avenues, the work of the group, the meeting schedule, and the fact that the Commission is looking for input from citizens.
Requested Items of Staff:
Comparative chart of salaries of cities comparable in size to Rockville; the reports of the Charter Review Commission; a list of the occupations of candidates from the 2007 election; information about the fiscal impact to the City’s budget; a list of benefits currently received by the Mayor and Council.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 11:15 am