2/28/2013 10:51:00 AM CF council approves Reeves' 4.9% raise
by Ken Haggerty
The Cannon Falls city council approved a 4.9 percent merit/cost of living adjustment for city administrator Aaron Reeves, leaving his annual salary at $106,433.
The motion passed with a 4-2 vote. Council members LeRoy McCusker and Merlyce Johnson voted no.
McCusker said he thinks Reeves is a "great administrator" and has "done a hell of a job" but that he wasn't comfortable giving Reeves a higher increase than what other staff members were granted. McCusker said in past years other staff have had to deal with no raises, staff cuts, and retraction of promised bonuses.
Johnson said she agreed with McCusker's opinion and noted Mayor Robinson had said during last year's budget discussions that department heads need to step-up in helping balance the budget. Robinson said he does not consider Reeves a department head. He considers Reeves above them.
Workers in the City's steps and scales system will get about a 3 to 3.7 percent increase this year. Long-time employees above the scale will get about a two percent raise.
Council member Bill Duncan, who is on the personnel committee which recommended the raise for Reeves, said the administrator position is "unique among all city employees." He likened Reeves to a CEO and said it's important to reward your top employee when you think he's doing a very good job.
Ambulance Director Brenda Voshalike said she doesn't begrudge Reeves being rewarded, but noted that merit is not a consideration in any other staff salary negotiation. She said she has employees she would like to reward above the standard rate for their outstanding performance.
Reeves thanked the Council for the raise. Reeves had been a finalist for a position in Faribault late in 2012. Duncan chided Reeves that now he can't leave.
The Council approved a $13,556 upgrade to the Laserfiche system. It is hoped savings can be generated by going paperless and by reducing staff time while improving citizen access to records.
The Council approved a $50,000 for a new truck with tool boxes and a utility crane to be used in pulling pumps and other work. McCusker suggested maybe finding a used truck.
An emotional McCusker reported that after the last Council meeting, during which he expressed frustration with MnDOT's hesitance to put a crosswalk in on Hwy. 19 by the ballpark, he arrived home to find out that an elderly friend of the family, Colleen O'Neil, had been hit by a car while crossing Hwy. 19 near Twin Rivers. McCusker said he will continue to push hard for a crosswalk. Reeves said they had passed the police report on the accident to State Senator Schmit.