Lasting impactThere are two items on tonight‘s Oro Valley Town Council meeting agenda that will have a long-term impact on the town. One, is a land swap that will increase the size of the parking lot at the Community Center. The other is a one-time increase in compensation of the town’s employees.
Land swap will increase Community Center parking
There is a lot adjacent to the Community Center parking lot. It is privately owned. It is a one acre lot. The town has negotiated a land swap for land which is approximately the same size located in Rancho Vistoso. The swap, which is likely to be approved by council tonight, will enable the expansion of the town’s very crowded Community Center parking lot. This will also provide the opportunity to improve mobility challenged access, which is something that has been neglected by the town until recently. There is no monetary cost to the town for this land swap.
Town staff will get one time bump in compensation
Council is being asked to approve a “2022-23 General Pay Plan” for town employees. The pay plan does not show the increases, but does show the new levels of compensation in tiers. The tables, which comprise 18 pages, are the result of study prepared by a consulting firm. The tables have 37 job classifications with a compensation level for each.
It is curious to us that the Town Manager midpoint compensation is almost $230,000 while the Police Chief’s is $172,000. That is a whopping $58,000 difference. The Police Chief is far more critical to the town than the Town Manager. Fortunately, the Police Chief reports directly to council and should be compensated based on their judgment, not based on some table.
The consulting firm’s study is not included as part of the agenda materials. Supposedly, the consulting firm compared town employee compensation to other communities. We cannot provide details of these comparisons until we receive a requested a copy of the consultant study. We do wonder, however, how council can make a decision on the pay plan without vetting the study at a council meeting.
“The additional cost to implement this pay plan is approximately $825,000 across all funds and includes pension costs, Social Security, and Medicare contributions. The cost of this change was included in the Town’s budget adopted on June 15, 2022.” [Source: July 6, 2022 Meeting Agenda]
These compensation increases are in addition to the step and merit compensation staff is to receive this year.