CINCINNATI - Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory has rescinded raises he gave to his staff this week, saying "the perception has had a negative effect on the morale of other City Employees."
Mallory gave double-digit raises to three staffers even as city officials continue to discuss laying off firefighters, police officers and up to 344 city employees to help close a $35-million budget deficit.
In a statement Friday, Mallory said:
"I am rescinding the raises that I gave my staff and returning all salaries to the previous levels. Although the changes that I made in my office structure resulted in a saving of $66,000 to be used in next year's budget, I realize that the perception has had a negative effect on the morale of other City Employees.
"I am the biggest promoter of the public servants who choose to work for the city, both on my staff and in all City Departments. I don't want to see anyone lose their job. I have been successfully fighting to prevent layoffs throughout the recession. I supported the parking plan because it will ensure that no city employees lose their job. I plan to continue to fight for City Employees and to do everything that I can to minimize the reductions to our City Workforce. Every job that we save is a win for our community."
Mallory and City Council had planned to use part of a $92 million upfront payment from the parking lease to cover budget shortfalls. The parking lease agreement was approved March 6 in a 5-4 council vote. But an opposition group collected enough signatures to put the issue up for referendum in November.
Director of public affairs Jason Barron confirmed to 9 On Your Side Wednesday evening that he, director of international affairs Arlen Herrell and director of community affairs Shawn Butler had received raises. The pay increases would have totaled approximately $29,000 a year.
Herrell's salary would have jumped 22 percent from $60,231 to $72,500 a year.
Barron's salary would have increased 17 percent from $62,740 to $72,500.
Butler's pay would have increased 10 percent from $67,760 to $75,000.
Barron said the raises were partially a byproduct of Ryan Adcock's decision to resign as director of legislative affairs and Mallory's decision not to replace him.
Adcock's departure forced several members of the mayor's staff to take on additional work responsibilities, according to Barron.
Adcock was scheduled to earn $72,500 this year after making $62,740 the last year.
Barron insisted the raises would save the city around $53,000 between the end of the fiscal year on June 21 and next year. Barron also said that the mayor's office would save $13,000 from Adcock's salary that would not be spent.