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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Anna Maria officials to discuss future salary increase

The time may have come in Anna Maria when the compensation offered to the mayor and city commissioners is no longer enough.

While the commission tossed out $8,020 in the 2004-05 budget to fund health and dental insurance for the office of mayor, they agreed to discuss a salary increase at a future commission worksession.

When the commission deleted health benefits for the mayor in the budget at its Sept. 27 meeting, Commission Chairperson John Quam said he agreed the position of mayor "needs extra compensation, but not in this fashion."

He also noted that the role of mayor "has increased tremendously" in recent years, and he would be in favor of a salary increase.

Commissioner Carol Ann Magill noted that the salary of the commissioners and mayor of Anna Maria is the same as that of the other two Island cities, but "it may be time to review the salaries."

Currently, the annual salary of mayor in all three Island cities is $9,600 while a city commissioner in each city receives $4,800 annually.

Any increase in compensation for elected officials cannot occur during their present term.

In other actions during the budget meeting, commissioners declined to add approximately $90,000 to this year's budget for a new roof on city hall, but agreed a new roof should be placed in next year's budget.

Mayor SueLynn said the repairs done recently on the roof appear to have worked, as no leaks were detected during the past two hurricanes.

Commissioner Linda Cramer disagreed, saying it was "crazy" not to budget money now for a new roof.

Her plea, however, fell on deaf ears and the matter will be considered in the 2005-06 budget.

Cramer also discussed the position of the code enforcement officer, which falls under the building department.

It was her understanding that when Building Official Kevin Donohue was hired, he would eventually take over the job of code enforcement officer. SueLynn replied that if Donohue took over the code enforcement job, it would take away that many hours from his building official duties.

Commissioners declined that option, but reduced the hours of the code enforcement officer from 24 to 16 hours per week.