Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Largo's 2012 budget proposal includes no raises for employees

LARGO — Another lean year for the city's tax coffers could mean another lean year for city employees.

City management's proposed 2012 budget includes no raises for its employees. If the City Commission approves the budget as is, it would extend a wage freeze for non-union city employees into a second year.

City management has added a consolation prize of sorts, though — three extra paid days off for nonunion employees, also part of the proposed $65.4 million general fund budget.

"This is about all we can do right now," said Mayor Pat Gerard. "We wish we could be doing a raise. They certainly deserve it."

City management's goal is for no Largo employees to get raises in fiscal 2012, which starts Oct. 1, but that won't be set until negotiations are complete with all three of the city's unions. Largo's firefighters have already agreed to a 2012 wage freeze, while negotiations with the police union and Communication Workers of America, which represents many hourly employees, are ongoing.

The city's nonunion employees (about 220 of Largo's roughly 874 full-time equivalent positions) are the only ones being offered the three extra paid days off. City Manager Mac Craig said the days off must be used in fiscal 2012; they cannot be banked at the end of the year as extra pay.

Craig said he has been assured by supervisors that the extra days off will not significantly interfere with city operations. Largo has lost nearly 50 full-time equivalent positions since 2008.

Largo's nonunion employees did not get raises this year. They did, however, get raises in fiscal year 2010. City management proposed a wage freeze then as well, but unions balked. Management countered with furloughs — unpaid days off — but the City Commission voted that down.

The City Commission will talk about the budget Friday afternoon at City Hall, during a hearing scheduled from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Commissioner Curtis Holmes is a frequent critic of management's fiscal decisions and promises to have a long list of questions for staffers.

He and Commissioner Mary Gray Black disagree with management's 2012 proposal to adopt a rollback tax rate, a rate that brings in the same amount of property tax revenue as this year after accounting for changing property values and new construction. Holmes has called it a tax increase.

He does not disagree with the proposal for a wage freeze, though, and he is not overly concerned that another year without more pay will severely impact employee morale.

"I think having a job and a paycheck is a morale boost in and of itself," Holmes said.

Will Hobson can be reached at (727) 445-4167 or

Largo's 2012 budget proposal includes no raises for employees 08/02/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 3:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: L.A. music scene in the '60s rocks again in 'Everybody Had an Ocean'


    I was 13 when I went to my first rock concert, a 1966 show by the Beach Boys at the long-gone Bayfront Arena in St. Petersburg. After the last song, one of my friends dashed up on the empty stage and nabbed the paper cup left behind by dreamboat drummer Dennis Wilson. We cut it up and shared the relic, swooning …

  2. Alison Barlow named director to spur creative economy, jobs of St. Pete Innovation District

    Economic Development

    After an extensive search, the recently created St. Pete Innovation District now has its first executive director. Alison Barlow on Thursday was named to the position in which she will help recruit and facilitate a designated downtown St. Petersburg area whose assets and members range from USF St. Petersburg, Johns …

    Alison Barlow has been named the first executive director of the recently created St. Pete Innovation District, a designated downtown St. Petersburg area whose assets and members range from USF St. Petersburg, Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital and Poynter Institute to SRI International and the USF College of Marine Science, among many other organizations. Barlow, who most recently served as manager of the Collaborative Labs at St. Petersburg College, starts her new job June 16.[Photo courtesy of LinkedIn]
  3. The winner of 'Survivor: Game Changers?' It has to be Jeff Probst


    But Tampa Bay fans are more interested in whether local lawyer and ex-Buccaneer Brad Culpepper came out on top. After winning five - count ‘em five - challenges Culpepper made probably the most serious error in taking Sarah Lacina. the 33-year-old police officer from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to the finals with him.

  4. To catch a ring of poachers who targeted Florida's million-dollar alligator farming industry, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set up an undercover operation. They created their own alligator farm, complete with plenty of real, live alligators, watched over by real, live undercover wildlife officers. It also had hidden video cameras to record everything that happened. That was two years ago, and on Wednesday wildlife officers announced that they arrested nine people on  44 felony charges alleging they broke wildlife laws governing alligator harvesting, transporting eggs and hatchlings across state lines, dealing in stolen property, falsifying records, racketeering and conspiracy. The wildlife commission released these photos of alligators, eggs and hatchlings taken during the undercover operation. [Courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]