Change Of Heart: Orlando Mayor, Commission Opt For Modest Raise

Photo courtesy of Mayor Buddy Dyer

Photo courtesy of Mayor Buddy Dyer

What a difference a week makes? After the gnashing of teeth, and some pretty upset union members, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced at the city’s budget hearing that the 21 percent pay increase he sought for himself and the commission may send the wrong message to the public.

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

At any rate, the mayor, and the commissioners who voted for the increase, finally realized that a double-digit bump in pay will not sit well with Orlando residents.

After citing a study the city did about the pay of other elected officials from varied cities comparable to Orlando, Dyer implied that he knows that he is under paid as well as the city commission. He also understands why such a vast increase seems out-of-touch.

But for those upset, or maybe not, that the city’s group of elected officials will not go home with an extra 10 grand or so in their pockets, don’t fret, because they will still receive a six percent raise in pay.

After the ruckus created by the commission and the mayor over the pay raises, it just about serves them right that there would be a little blowback for this decision.

In the end, being a commissioner, and mayor for that matter, is a hard job. Its thankless, some are well underpaid, it has never been a part-time position, and narcissism is in the job description. So a raise isn’t out of the ordinary or out of line, it’s just the amount that caught people off guard.

Not to mention the number of Orlando residents who barely survive making just under $25,000 per year.

Mild kudos, and I do mean mild, for the mayor and the commission’s decision to walk back the raise. This six percent pay lift may have been in the plans the entire time, but we may never know.

Note: With the slight bump in pay that was approved today, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s pay will increase from $160,892 a year to $170,545. For the commission, the increase is modest. Their pay will rise from $49,383 to $52,346.

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