Two Yukon city officials received significant pay increases Tuesday after city council members praised them for their work.
The decision to give City Manager Jim Crosby and City Attorney Gary Miller pay increases of more than 6 percent was not unanimous, however.
Crosby’s new salary is $149,000 plus a one-time performance bonus of $8,000. In addition, the city will include a payment of 6 percent of his salary into to his employee retirement plan. Crosby also will receive an annual car allowance of $7,200 or will be given the use of a city vehicle.
Crosby’s salary increase is 6.8 percent.
Crosby has been the city manager since April 1, 2016
Miller’s new salary is $79,500, which is a 6.7 percent pay increase.
Miller has been the city’s attorney since January 2017.
Mayor Michael McEachern said the salary increases bring both officials into line with the same positions in similar cities, according to the Oklahoma Municipal League.
The work of both Crosby and Miller was praised by council members.
“Mr. Crosby has made tremendous strides necessary to bring us back to the fully solvent and well-ordered organization that the taxpayers truly deserve,” McEachern said. “He has brought a wealth of experience needed for our recovery that we celebrate today.”
City Council member Shelly Shelby said that while she appreciates Crosby’s efforts in Yukon’s recovery, she also thinks the amount of his raise is too much.
“It’s not that I don’t think you deserve it, because I do. But I also believe the city employees deserve that big of a raise also. … I’m talking about the ones at the bottom. This is not personal. I think you are an amazing administrator,” she said before casting the lone “no” vote on Crosby’s raise.
She voted similarly, for the same reasons, against Miller’s raise.
McEachern pointed out that city employees did receive raises, for the first time in three years, this fiscal year. They are expected to receive additional step raises as part of the upcoming budget. Those raises are expected about 3 percent.
The mayor also pointed out that Crosby had reworked the city’s insurance plans to save more than $500,000.
That reason, along with 28 others, are justification for the increased salary for Crosby, McEachern said.
“It certainly is in line with everything else that is currently being done by other, similar communities, managing similar budgets with similar employee levels,” he said. “I agree with Shelly’s comments that Jim has done an absolutely amazing job. I think he should be rewarded accordingly.”
Meanwhile, the mayor said that despite the pay increase for Miller, his salary will still be below those of city attorneys in other communities.
City Council member Rick Cacini said both Crosby and Miller started their jobs at lower salary levels to help the community rebound from a near financial disaster in 2016.
“I think both gentlemen started their jobs here not at a high rate of pay. Normally, we don’t hire people when we first take them off the street and bring them in, at a high rate of pay. I want to thank both of them for accepting the positions that they did at the time they were hired,” Cacini said.