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CITY OF LINCOLN   •   NEWS RELEASE   •   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date:
December 13, 2002
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Georgia Glass, Personnel Director, 441-7888

Wesely Signs Resolution to Freeze Mayor's Salary

Mayor Don Wesely said today he wants to set an example of fiscal frugality by introducing and signing a resolution providing for no increase in the Lincoln Mayor’s salary during the next four years. The Lincoln City Council on Monday approved the Mayor’s request to freeze the Mayor’s salary at $74,909.

"We have not raised the City’s property tax rate for the last four years, " said Mayor Wesely. "Personnel costs make up about 71 percent of our tax-supported budget. We have worked very hard to reduce personnel cost increases. Keeping personnel costs in line has been key to keeping the tax rate down. One of the steps we’ve taken is to ask City employees to accept smaller salary increases. As I ask City employees to sacrifice, I have shown a willingness to sacrifice as well." The Mayor did not receive a raise for the current fiscal year. Seventy-eight City employees now earn more than the Mayor. That number will increase over the next four years as the Mayor’s salary is frozen.

Steps taken by Mayor Wesely to control personnel costs are:
  • limiting raises for City department directors to two percent for this fiscal year.
  • allowing cost of living increases but freezing merit increases for management employees for one year.
  • asking City unions for a one-year freeze on merit increases, while allowing cost of living increases.
  • eliminating 16 positions from this fiscal year’s budget.
  • establishing a hiring freeze with a review process.

Mayor Wesely also proposed permanent changes to the Lincoln Municipal Code to limit merit raises to four percent instead of the current six percent and to require merit increases over three percent to be reviewed. The City Personnel Board denied both proposals.

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