Commissioner Michael Bracchi revisited the discussion of raising city commissioner salaries at the July 12 city commission meeting.

Commissioner Gary Resnick first brought up the topic in a meeting last year.

Bracchi cites Commissioner Chris Caputo as one of the first to reject the idea last year because he felt city staff’s salaries should be addressed first. Bracchi noted that he agreed and felt that since city staff would see raises, now “might be the right time to review [city commissioner salaries].”

Bracchi said that city staff compiled a list of city commissioner and mayor salaries for nearby cities and that Wilton Manors ranked in the bottom 4 of 31 cities surveyed. Per the same study, Wilton Manors commissioners make $9,750 annually and the average commissioner salary of the cities surveyed was $27,000.

“It's really low,” Bracchi said. “I think we’re one of the hardest working commissions — doesn’t mean future commissions will be — but I think we are.”

City commissioner salaries are changed by ordinance and will be subject to at least two public hearings.

Commissioners received Bracchi’s notes with overall agreement.

“So at first, my gut reaction was ‘no’ but you made some very valid points,” Caputo said. “The truth is we might even have more people that ran for commission if there was slightly more money involved.”

Vice Mayor Paul Rolli also noted that certain cities have aides to help with work, but Wilton Manors does not.

The commission agreed they would not want to propose a new salary that exceeded the average salary from their findings.

Secure the Next Generation Referendum Renewal

John Sullivan, Broward Schools Chief of Communications, also gave a presentation at the meeting about the Secure the Next Generation Referendum Renewal. It’s a county-wide issue that will appear on primary election ballots Aug. 23.

The renewal would increase the current investment of half a millage rate to one millage rate. The investment goes toward salary supplements for teachers and select staffers, mental health services and school safety services.

“We’re thankful for the funding we get from Tallahassee but it’s not enough to fund these areas,” Sullivan said in his presentation.

Legislation requires 20% of funds to go toward charter schools. Sullivan said at least 75% of the investment would go toward salary supplements as well. If passed, homeowners will see an $11.50 monthly increase from current payment to total of $23 a month and condo owners will see a $6.50 monthly increase to total of $13 a month.

Sullivan claimed that if the referendum does not get renewed in August, the average teacher would lose $4,600 annually on average. If the referendum fails, the next time Broward Schools can put a referendum on the ballot is in 2024.

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Editor's note: this story originally said the current investment would increase from a half million dollars to one million dollars. That is incorrect. What it should have said is "the renewal would increase the current investment of half a millage rate to one millage rate." We regret the error.