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Government work is often thankless work and nobody gets rich for their efforts.

After decades of stagnant compensation, Wilton Manors City Commissioners voted to raise their salaries along with that of the mayor. At their meeting on Sept. 13 they gave final approval to increase annual pay to $30,000 for the mayor (up from $11,500) and $25,000 for commissioners (up from $9,750).

When adjusted for inflation, the pay has been stagnant for 20 years, and this is the first actual raise since 2015. No one from the public commented during the public hearing immediately before the vote, though one person did voice opposition to the size of the percentage increase, about 150%, during general public comments. At previous meetings when the increase was proposed and discussed, residents spoke out on both sides of the issue.

To avoid needing to deal with this situation again, the mayor and commissioners will get annual, automatic raises on par with what city employees receive. Outgoing Commissioner Gary Resnick, who once again joined the meeting by phone, was the only “no” vote.

The increases take effect on Oct. 1.

City Manager Gets Raise

Also getting a raise is City Manager Leigh Ann Henderson. Her base salary and overall compensation (such as retirement/pension contributions) were increased. Even with the adjustments, her salary, like the pay of elected officials, is still below the average for comparable positions in Broward County.

“I think it’s a fair adjustment,” Henderson said during the meeting. “I think it’s in line with the policy that the commission has set to do a market evaluation of all of its employees and bring them up to a competitive rate.”

All these increases are being justified with the goal of attracting and retaining qualified talent which often leaves for more money.

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