No raises for Vail’s top town officials
VAIL, Colorado ” Vail’s top three employees won’t get raises after they told their boss they did-n’t want the money.
The employees are Town Manager Stan Zemler, Town Attorney Matt Mire and Municipal Judge Buck Allen, and the boss is the Vail Town Council, which voted Tuesday to accept the offer to decline the pay raises. “I want to thank all of you for doing this,” Mayor Dick Cleveland said. “In this com-munity, this is the kind of people who lead this town. They understand the situation we’re in.”
Vail’s sales tax revenue dropped 13.5 per-cent in January amid a nationwide reces-sion. Anticipating a drop in revenues, the town already has cut more than $7 million from its 2009 budget and eliminated jobs in several departments.
On Tuesday, the council decided to set aside the three employees’ merit raises ” which would be a maximum of 4 percent ” in the hopes that the economy would improve and the money eventually could be given to them.
Zemler earns $160,325 per year, Mire earns $132,000 per year, and Allen earns $49.61 per hour. Allen typically works about 17 hours per week.
After the annual performance reviews, the council decided that the men deserved raises. The three employees later sent let-ters to the council saying they declined the raises.
“I think your offer is very generous, and it shows the spirit of your commitment to the town to go along with this,” said Council-woman Margaret Rogers. This year, the council did the perform-ance reviews late, in January and February, instead of in November, when they are nor-mally done. Several council members apol-ogized for that delay.
“It was our mistake ” the council, the supervisor ” in not doing the evaluations at the right time,” said Councilman Mark Gordon. ” Had it been done at the right time, it would have just gone through, and our employees would not be having to give up their merit pay raises, which they all deserved.”
The motion passed, 5-1, with Gordon casting the dissenting vote.