By Leilani Haywood
Lee’s Summit City Charter Review Commission member Gladys Bratton disclosed inconsistencies in several city bills and reports related to city staff salaries during public comment at the Lee’s Summit City Council meeting on April 12, 2018. “My goal is not to beat a dead horse, but to provide food for thought on the issue of Substitute Bill 18-20 Appendix A and to show inconsistency between documents,” she said.
Substitute bill 18-20 has been defeated twice by Lee’s Summit City Council at its April 5, 2018 and March 15, 2018 meetings. That bill would allocate $1.8 million for police; $1.25 million fire fighters and $500,000 for the International Association of Machinists for pay raises. Bratton disclosed several inconsistencies between Substitute Bill 18-20, Exhibit A, the fiscal year classification plan of 2016 to 2017 and Exhibit A from Bill 17-110.
Bill 17-110, an ordinance approving, adopting and appropriating the City of Lee’s Summit budget for fiscal year 2018 was adopted at the June 1, 2017 city council meeting. That ordinance approved the city manager’s budget of $217,538,780 for fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018.
“My point is I understand why the council has been back and forth,” she said. “This is confusing. The documentation provided is confusing, but it is one more example of this not being a money problem, but a management leadership problem. I’m asking the new mayor and council to set as their priority to find a resolution for the city employees and tax payers.”
Bratton said the city’s 2016- 2017 budget provides for 230 positions while Exhibit A from Bill 17-110 allocates for 211 full-time and nine part-time positions. Substitute Bill 18-20 Exhibit A funds 236 positions. She noted that although the fire department received a $1.2 million or $1.5 million raise that their pay ranges have not changed.
Bratton also revealed the dramatic increase of the assistant city manager’s minimum salary range in the city’s 2016-2017 budget from $80,142 to $95,718, which is an increase of $15,576. “This is more than a 10 percent increase,” she said. “It’s closer to 19.5 percent. The maximum range is 132,715 to 149,321.”
For an Administrative Assistant 1, the pay range decreases $3,335 and the maximum range goes down goes down by $8,830, according to Bratton. “I am speaking as a tax payer,” she said. “I want my tax dollars spent wisely and my city to run efficiently and be protected. The $1.6 million set aside will fund raises for the police and other employees.”