The 26 percent raise given to Phoenix's city manager is raising eyebrows and tempers in the city of Phoenix.
David Cavazos was given a $78,000 a year raise by the city council. But some city employees say this is just plain wrong.
The Phoenix City Manager is a big job. There is a $3 billion budget to oversee and roughly 14,000 city employees to manage.
"I started with the city in 1987 as an intern making $9 an hour," said David Cavazos during an interview last year with FOX 10's John Hook.
This year Cavazos will make over $150 an hour, based on a 40 hour work week. The city manager's salary was raised from $237,000 to $315,000 a year.
That is not sitting well with some city employees. Employees who took pay concessions during the economic downturn say this is not fair.
"I would argue that until his employees get their pay back to where it was that he should be held accountable and not have a pay raise until that happens," said Sgt. Sean Mattson of Phoenix Police Sgts. & Lts. (PPLSA).
PPLSA represents hundreds of Phoenix police sergeants and lieutenants. Mattson says the Cavazos raise is sending a horrible message to every city of Phoenix worker who took pay cuts and other concessions during the economic downturn.
"This is a huge morale killer for all the folks that are out there that did not have a problem taking that cut five years ago."
On the streets of Phoenix, no one thinks the big raise was appropriate.
"I would like to make $76,000 a year much less get a raise," said one person we talked to.
Cavazos was not available for comment, but did release a statement which said in part: "I am grateful that the Mayor and City Council voted to increase my compensation to match the market rate.
"Since I have become City Manager, we have dramatically reduced the size of government to the smallest it has been in 40 years by working with employees, residents, businesses and community groups. We have achieved $60 million in innovation and efficiency savings, expanded services for the community and continue to maintain our AAA bond ‘rating.'"
We asked Councilman Sal DiCiccio why he voted yes.
"I'm a fiscal watchdog, I'm a hawk when it comes to this," he told us. "I agree that the optics of this don't look good... these are hard times right now for everybody, but you look at what we got accomplished, and where we're taking the city of Phoenix and whether or not you want to reward individuals for getting big things done."
Big things that represent a down payment on the future of Phoenix by rewarding the man at the helm?
"I had to make an evaluation. Was $78,000 worth a hundred million? Was $78,000 worth making it easier to do business in Phoenix and is $78,000 worth changing the culture of government that everybody else is saddled with," said DiCiccio.
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