|Home > Government > Boards and Commissions > Compensation Commission > Agendas and Minutes > March 20, 2009 - Minutes|
March 20, 2009
The Compensation Commission met on March 20, 2009 at 10:00 am in the Oriole Conference Room at City Hall.
Virginia Onley, Chair
Staff in attendance: Claire Funkhouser, City Clerk; Brenda Bean, Deputy City Clerk; and Assistant City Attorney Sondra Block.
Visitors in attendance: Contessa Cristosomo, Gazette Newspaper
Chairperson Onley opened the meeting and welcomed reporter Contessa Cristosomo.
Upon motion of Commissioner Coyle, duly seconded by Commissioner Moore and unanimously passed, the minutes of the Compensation Commission meeting of the March 10, 2009 meeting were approved, as amended.
City Clerk Funkhouser described the packet of materials that were distributed for today’s meeting stating that, with the exception of an email from Mr. McKee, there had been no other citizen input and the record closed on Friday, March 13th at 5:00 pm.
Regarding the document provided by the City’s Personnel Director, Carlos Vargas, there was discussion on how Montgomery County used the Baltimore-Washington CPI-U and what month of the year would be appropriate to use as a benchmark if the Commission chose to take this route. There was consensus to use the month of November because that would be the last month for which accurate data could be received prior to the Compensation Commission’s meeting in January of the following year. This month would also comport with the City’s budget schedule.
Regarding the report of the Commission due to the Mayor and Council by March 31, there was discussion about the kind of information to go into the document. It was agreed that the report does not need to be long, but does need to contain enough background to explain the group’s recommendation. Ms. Funkhouser said that she would produce a transmittal memo that would accompany the report that would reiterate the recommendation of the Commission and options available to the Mayor and Council. Remembering that the Commission that convened in 2007 met with the Mayor and Council in worksession, there was consensus that this group would also like to meet in worksession. Ms. Funkhouser said she would circulate some suggested meeting dates.
Mr. Marrinan expressed his desire to arrive at appropriate language, whether in a motion or otherwise, that each commissioner agrees that the current compensation is adequate; to convey that all have a level of comfort with where they are now. There was consensus that this information should be spelled out in the minutes of today’s meeting and in the report, and to highlight that the compensation keeps pace with inflation.
There was a broad discussion about the value of using the CPI-U index as well as the ramifications. Some of the issues brought up during the discussion included:
Motion No. 1
After the discussion, Commissioner Moore made a motion to increase the Mayor’s annual monetary compensation for FY 2010 from $25,750 to $26,295, and to increase the Councilmember’s monetary compensation for FY2010, from $20,600 to $21,036. These recommended increases reflect the difference in the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan CPI-U from November 2007 to November 2008. The motion was seconded by Jim Coyle, with Commissioners Edwards, Marrinan, Moore and Coyle voting “aye,” and Commissioner Onley voting “nay.”
The next issue discussed was how to effectively cover the method of increasing the rate of compensation over three fiscal years as well as how to make sure that there is a provision for “hold harmless.” It was noted that when the Compensation Commission met in 2007, they recommended a three-year cycle of compensation adjustments.
Motion No. 2
Commissioner Edwards made a motion that, for fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2012, the monetary compensation for the Mayor and Council be increased by the positive change, if any, in the Washington Baltimore Index CPI-U for the twelve months preceding the previous November. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Marrinan with Commissioners Coyle, Edwards, Moore and Marrinan voting “aye,” and Commissioner Onley voting, “nay.”
City Clerk Funkhouser asked who would be preparing the group’s final report. Tom Moore said that he would take care of the chart that would be going into the report. There was further discussion on the importance of the report containing an accurate reflection of the Commission’s decision. Mr. Marrinan reiterated that there should be mention of the group’s consensus that the current compensation is at the appropriate level.
There was also discussion about the possible abolition of the Commission if the Mayor and Council create a policy to use CPI going forward, with the possibility of a group convening from time to time to review how things are going. Ms. Onley said that, regardless of the future of the group and despite enjoying her years of service on the Commission, she would no longer be able to serve once this year’s business was concluded.
Mr. Marrinan said that the Commission should meet in two years to see if we still agree that this a formula that satisfies the group’s intent. There was some discussion about recommending to the Mayor and Council the abolition of the Commission at this time, but it was decided to wait and see how the Mayor and Council react to this new way of determining the method of calculating the compensation. It was agreed that the group as configured should meet in two years to review the new method and see how things are going.
Motion No. 3
Upon motion of Steve Edwards, duly seconded by Jim Marrinan with Commissioners Edwards, Coyle, Marrinan and Moore voting “aye,” and Commissioner Onley abstaining, the group commended Commissioner Onley for her service and dedication to this Commission over the past fifteen years.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 12:05 pm.