TREASURE ISLAND — City Manager Reid Silverboard got his anniversary wish — albeit a little late — when city commissioners approved a 5 percent raise in a 3-2 vote.
After City Commissioner Alan Bildz's motion, intended to keep Silverboard's salary at its current $105,047, failed Tuesday for lack of a second, commissioners decided to go with Mayor Bob Minning's suggestion of a 5 percent increase, making Silverboard's salary $110,306.
"By and large, the city has come a long way in the tenure of Mr. Silverboard," Minning said. "He has gotten us through some pretty trying years."
Commissioner Carol Coward, however, said she thought a 3 percent increase was sufficient and didn't agree that all the city's budget success was due to Silverboard's expertise.
"We've contributed to the budgets with our suggestions," she said, referring to the City Commission.
But commissioners Phil Collins and Tim Ramsberger agreed with the mayor and voted for the 5 percent increase. Collins said he didn't agree that Silverboard should be held completely responsible for some key employees leaving the city.
"It doesn't fall directly on the shoulders of the city manager," Collins argued. "There are two sides to every story and it doesn't necessarily mean that the city manager is doing anything wrong."
At a previous salary discussion, Bildz said he wasn't in favor of giving Silverboard an increase because of personality conflicts the city manager has had with some city department heads.
Former City Commissioner and Mayor Julian Fant told commissioners he was surprised to hear that some city commissioners were communicating directly with city employees rather than going through the city manager.
"I think he (Silverboard) has done a very capable job," Fant said. "Denying him a raise would be a disservice."
After looking at a study of city manager salaries in Pinellas County done by Madeira Beach, Minning said Silverboard's pay "is at the low end of the totem pole" and should be raised.
The raise will be retroactive to May 7, Silverboard's sixth anniversary date with the city.