The York City Council will reconsider pay raises next week for two department directors, one of whom scolded council members for their "hypocritical" decision in December to increase the salary of one employee while simultaneously denying Mayor Kim Bracey's recommendation to increase the two others.
Councilman Michael Helfrich will introduce his proposal Tuesday to grant pay raises to business administrator Michael O'Rourke and public works director Jim Gross.
The raises are more modest than Bracey's original proposal, which the council rejected Dec. 17 in a 3-2 vote before approving the city's 2014 budget.
Helfrich, who voted for the raises, said the mayor approached him after the meeting and "asked me if I would be willing to do a little bit more work and see if I could find something that might be agreeable to council.
"So what I did was I went through and evaluated what their pay would have been had they received those three cost-of-living increases," he said.
Department directors did not receive cost-of-living increases in 2002, 2005 and 2006. O'Rourke and Gross are the only two directors from those earlier years who remain in their positions today.
The mayor's proposal would have restored the cost-of-living increases to the directors' salaries and given them a pay raise on top of it.
Helfrich's proposal: Helfrich's idea is to adjust the two directors' salaries to reflect what they would make had they gotten the earlier cost-of-living increases. If the proposal is approved, O'Rourke's base salary will increase from about $101,750 to $110,250 and Gross' salary will increase from about $80,265 to $87,000.
Helfrich said he believes both O'Rourke and Gross are skilled workers who deserve a raise.
In a final plea for fairness during the council's December meeting, O'Rourke urged the council to reconsider a nearly $5,000 increase for city clerk Dianna Thompson-Mitchell, who made $50,128 last year.
"I think, if you want to have integrity, then you ought to remove the city clerk's pay increase," O'Rourke said at the time.
The council approved Thompson-Mitchell's salary increase.
Helfrich said he sees the directors' raises and Thompson-Mitchell's raise as separate issues.
In asking for a raise, Thompson-Mitchell provided the council with data showing city clerks in comparable positions across the state were earning significantly more money, he said.
"It was obvious to me that we needed to bring this up just to make an adjustment to put her in the right bracket," Helfrich said.
Helfrich said he is not proposing the pay increases "because Michael O'Rourke complained that he didn't get it."
"I thought it was fair before he made those comments and I think it's fair after he made those comments," he said.
Neither O'Rourke nor Bracey returned a call for comment Friday. The council's meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday.
— Reach Erin James at firstname.lastname@example.org.