How Boynton will distribute $800,000 in raises to employees in ‘18

Updated Dec 29, 2017
Boynton Beach City Manager Lori LaVerriere (Submitted May 18, 2013. Photo courtesy city of Boynton Beach)

In the past year, Rivera Beach ’s city manager was fired, Jupiter’s town manager left for a neighboring city, and Palm Beach ’s is leaving next year after officials decided not to renew his contract.

Boynton Beach Commissioner Joe Casello wanted to give City Manager Lori LaVerriere a good reason to stay put: A 10 percent raise that would bring her salary from $182,120 to $200,332.

“We always measure ourselves up with Delray,” Casello said while quizzing Boynton’s director of human resources on the financials of their neighbor to the south.

Delray’s city manager is paid $235,000. The previous city manager who resigned in December 2016 earned a $196,900 salary.

Commissioners Mack McCray and Christina Romelus said they were concerned about such a high increase while the city’s employees typically get about 2 percent.

The commission agreed to Mayor Steven Grant’s proposal: Increase LaVerriere’s salary by 5 percent to $191,226 and pay an extra $9,202 to her retirement plan.

“We can continue to give her 2 percent, 3 percent… but we only have one city manager,” Casello said in December. “She’s like a CEO of a large company. I think we have over 800 employees here. She controls all the moving parts that makes this city what it is.”

LaVerriere has been city manager since December 2012 and held the job on an interim basis for 18 months before that. She was given a 2 percent salary increase last year.

“I truly love working here,” LaVerriere said. “It’s not Lori that sits and does this all by herself. We do have an outstanding team of employees. That’s what a smart leader does is surround herself or himself with very competent, capable people.”

City employees also are receiving raises — increases that will cost about $800,000.

Blue Collar and White Collar workers represented by a union have a new three-year contract that includes a 2.75 percent raise.

The city last year established a step plan for police represented by a union, and wages were settled when the plan was adopted. As part of that, a move up in the plan for officers, detectives and sergeants could mean a pay increase between 2 and 3.5 percent. Lieutenants are instead given $2,500 extra, according to city documents.

Boynton’s firefighters represented by a union also already have a contract but wages were renegotiated this year. If approved Tuesday, they will receive a .75 percent cost of living increase to each of the levels in their step plan.

That’ll increase a probationary firefighter’s annual salary — the lowest position in the plan — from $46,640.26 to $46,990.01, and a battalion chief on step five of five — the highest in the plan — from $102,560.55 to $103,329.86, according to city documents. Each step increase is about 2.47 percent more in pay.