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During the Oakland Park City Commission meeting on June 16, the commission voted to grant raises to the city manager and city attorney. David Hebert and D.J. Doody, respectively, had not received raises for years.

City Manager

Hebert was given a $57,272 raise, bringing his base salary to $264,320.

He was hired in 2014 with a salary of $170,000 — $10,000 lower than the bottom range advertised by the city during recruiting. He was also not entered into a benefit retirement plan, cell phone allowance, vehicle allowance or health insurance. Before the meeting, his base salary was $207,048; with “benefits and perks,” $263,553.

“I’ve felt your commitment, I’ve felt your passion, your compassion for the job, and your love for the city,” Commissioner Aisha Gordon said of Hebert. “I see you as a visionary leader. I know sometimes things get pretty tough, especially with all of the moving parts in the job.”

Hebert scored 4.35 out of 5 by the commission. The evaluations were done in private, but the rankings by each commissioner are public records.

Katie Busch of Human Resources Compensation Consultants (HRCC) compared Hebert’s salary to “comparable” cities, showing his pay was below average.

“When I think about the leadership of a CEO, city manager, I think he’s done an excellent job,” Mayor Jane Bolin said. “We just came out of a pandemic; we could have been in a much worse position, no doubt about it. To know that we don't have [his salary] at a real competitive rate concerns me.”

Commissioner Mitch Rosenwald took issue with HRCC’s “comparable cities,” in which it considered cities in close proximity to Oakland Park “where it’s highly likely that people will live and then be able to drive to Oakland Park to work,” Busch said. Rosenwald made a motion to have HRCC come back with comparisons of all 31 city and town managers in the county, which failed.

“I don’t think these are the best numbers to look at,” Rosenwald said. “If I was to look at compensation, I would look at a combination of the variable of the length of tenure … and the variable of the city population.”

Commissioner Matthew Sparks noted that while he was in favor of adjusting Hebert’s pay, “all I’m saying is that if you agree to something, don’t agree to something you’re not willing to take,” he said in regards to the initial agreement he signed.

The commission voted unanimously for the raise.

City Attorney

Doody was given a raise to his hourly rate from $215 to $250 per hour. His rate was last adjusted in 2014.

He has served as city attorney since 2001 and was also in that role from 1985 to 1997. In 2016, he was named Municipal Attorney of the Year. He is a shareholder at Fort Lauderdale firm Goren, Cherof, Doody & Ezrol, PA. Doody is paid for attending city commission and board meetings, working with consultants, and CRA-related issues.

“I find it amazing that we have the services we have of Mr. Doody at $215 currently,” said Bolin, who is an attorney. “Mr. Doody is a partner at a very well-established firm; most partners at firms charge $400 to $500 [per hour] and that’s pretty standard. I was dumbfounded when I actually saw this.”

Doody explained that $250 would be “current with what we are being compensated by other governmental entities,” and that as the interim city attorney for the town of Westlake, he makes $250 per hour.

The commission voted unanimously for the raise.

city manager salaries

Photo courtesy of HRCC.

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