Palm Beach County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously agreed to give County Administrator Bob Weisman a 3 percent raise and said they would hold a workshop to discuss how to replace him when he retires in 2015.
The commission agreed to give Weisman the same increase proposed for general county employees in 2013-14. The raise, which takes effect Oct. 1, will boost Weisman’s salary $259,140 from $251, 591.
Weisman, who has served as the county’s top administrator since 1991, is set to retire in August 2015. Several commissioners said it was critical that the seven-member board consider how it will find his replacement.
“We do need to think to the future as a board,” Commissioner Mary Lou Berger said. “We need to decide exactly what process we want to follow. I would hate to see us wait… and do something hasty.”
Commissioner Priscilla Taylor said she wanted the commission to hold a workshop on the issue in the next six months.
Commissioner Paulette Burdick said she was concerned that several other high-level administrators are also set to retire in the coming years.
“Perhaps when we have this conversation we could look at moving forward with goals and objectives and how we would like to reorganize the county,” Burdick said.
Weisman joined the county as an engineer in the land development division 33 years ago and later oversaw the county’s water utility department.
Reorganizing the county staff would likely result in only minor changes, he said. The county has slashed hundreds of jobs in recent years as property values have dwindled and, he said, the county has improved efficiency to make up for the cuts. “It is not taking as many bodies.”
Weisman also warned the commission that the county will likely face growing budget pressure over the next several years, even as property values rise.
The county has steadily increased the amount of money it spends on the sheriff’s office each year. At the same time, county commissioners have used one-time savings, including deferring debt service payments, to help pay for general county operations.
“You have had a major shift in the funding availability to the county,” Weisman said.
The Palm Beach County Commission took the following action Tuesday:
- Domestic partners: Agreed to reimburse unmarried domestic partners, gay or straight, for the taxes they pay on employer-provided health insurance. The change is expected to cost the county $135,783 a year.
- Job growth: Conceptually approved a job growth incentive grant of $200,000 for a company that would create 86 full-time jobs by moving its South Florida operations to Boca Raton.