Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pay cut for Hillsborough commissioners posed

TAMPA — With large-scale layoffs likely at County Center, newly elected Hillsborough Commissioner Kevin Beckner wants the pain to be shared by him and his fellow board members.

Beckner is proposing that commissioners vote themselves a pay cut and look at trimming other benefits, such as their car allowance, for next year.

County Administrator Pat Bean has said she may have to recommend eliminating as many as 1,000 employees to plug a projected $110-million deficit in next year's budget. Commissioners currently make about $92,000 annually and have a $550 monthly car allowance.

Beckner said he thinks commissioners should consider giving themselves at least a 10 percent pay cut.

"No, that won't solve the budget crisis we have, but it's everybody doing their part," Beckner said. "We have to tighten our belts before we ask others to tighten theirs."

He floated this at the end of a budget meeting Tuesday, saying he wants to discuss the idea at the board's next workshop, April 8. His fellow commissioners responded with a stoney silence.

But they shouldn't be surprised that Beckner raised the topic. The Democrat defeated Republican Brian Blair in November, relentlessly attacking him for opposing a similar proposal in July 2007.

In several campaign mailers, Beckner claimed Blair had given himself a pay raise based on his opposition to a pay freeze that year. Blair is now suing Beckner for libel, claiming that the pay raise assertion and others during the campaign were false.

The pay freeze proposal was pushed that year by Republican Al Higginbotham, but he didn't get any support. Blair accused him of trying to take food from his children's mouths.

"I got smacked down," Higginbotham said, adding that he remains supportive of commissioners taking some financial hit, particularly since the economy has gotten much worse since he last broached the idea.

Commissioner Ken Hagan, who instead won support during the 2007 debate for trimming commissioners' car allowances and travel by 10 percent, said he is willing to consider a pay cut and other trims in expenses.

"I'm not opposed to discussing it," he said, adding that any plan ought to be based on what employees are facing, rather than just be a random number.

Commissioners' salaries are set by a state formula that takes into account population and other factors. But the Hillsborough County Charter allows them to cut their salary up to 25 percent.

Bill Varian can be reached at varian@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3387.

Pay cut for Hillsborough commissioners posed 03/31/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 12:11am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump's lawyers seek to undercut Mueller's Russia investigation

    Politics

    Some of President Donald Trump's lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president's authority to grant pardons, the Washington Post reported, citing people familiar …

    President Donald Trump is said to be irritated by the notion that the special counsel's investigation could reach into his and his family's finances. [Associated Press]
  2. North Tampa shooting leaves one man dead

    Crime

    Times staff

    TAMPA — A man was fatally shot Thursday afternoon after an argument with another man escalated, police said.

  3. St. Pete City Council tightens building rules in historic areas

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — There's a battle being waged over the soul of the city's historic neighborhoods.

    A new larger home sits next to a smaller one in the Kenwood neighborhood in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.
  4. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  5. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.