Phoenix city council approves $78K raise for city manager - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Phoenix city council approves $78K raise for city manager

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© City manager David Cavazos, photo courtesy of phoenix.gov © City manager David Cavazos, photo courtesy of phoenix.gov
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

You're paying more in sales tax, city workers have been furloughed, and the police department is still in a hiring freeze. So why is your city manager getting a raise of $78,000?

"It's pretty alarming that it's so significant," said Joe Clure, the president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association.

He said at a time when Phoenix hasn't hired extra officers in four years and city employees are only getting a portion of their pay cuts back, it's a little shocking that city council approved a 33 percent pay increase for City Manager David Cavazos.

"I question the timing of it and doing it all in one step," Clure said.

Cavazos was making $237,000, but after the $78,000 raise, he'll be making $315,000 a year.

"We just came off of a contract negotiation where we got half, or 1.6 percent, of those concessions back," Clure said.

Clure is talking about a pay cut employees took four years ago to help the city balance its budget. So why is the city manager getting a big raise when rank and file employees are only getting 1.6 percent of their salaries back?

It could be because a recent study conducted for the city by the Segal company said that Cavazos isn't getting paid a competitive enough rate.

We looked up some salaries for city managers in large cities; according to the Texas Tribune, the city manager in San Antonio makes $355,000, while the city manager in Dallas makes almost $262,000.

Cavazos sent us a statement saying:

"It is an honor to work under the direction and leadership of the mayor and city council to make the city of Phoenix the best place for businesses and residents. I am grateful that the mayor and city council voted to increase my compensation to match the market rate. 

"Since I have become city manager, we have dramatically reduced the size of government to the smallest it has been in 40 years by working with employees, residents, businesses and community groups. We have achieved $60 million in innovation and efficiency savings, expanded services for the community and continue to maintain our AAA bond rating. We also have a structurally-balanced budget and continue to build our reserves to the highest level they have ever been. 

"We have achieved all of this without raising any fees for two years and with no increases to the water and wastewater rates this year, and a net-zero increase last year.

"I look forward to working together with the mayor and city council to achieve our vision."

We emailed and called the mayor and every single city councilperson, but we have not yet heard back.

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