All eligible Georgetown city staff who received an “exceeds" or "outstanding” rating on their Sept. 30, 2011, performance reviews will receive a $1,000–$1,500 one-time bonus using savings from the 2011–12 fiscal year budget.
City Council approved almost $300,000 for the bonuses June 12 at its regular meeting with a 5–2 vote. Council members Troy Hellmann and Tommy Gonzalez were the dissenting votes.
The money will come from savings already realized in this year’s budget and not from additional revenue, Georgetown Chief Financial Officer Micki Rundell said.
Although all council members supported the bonuses, there was some debate as to when the bonuses should be considered.
Gonzalez and Hellmann said they supported prioritizing the one-time bonuses in the next budget process.
“I like the idea of using last year’s [fund balance] that is already for sure a known quantity instead of this year’s money in the middle of the fiscal year because we don’t know what shortfalls may come, what problems there may be with sales tax or [if] this money may need to be used for one-time projects this year,” Hellmann said. “I still like the idea of waiting to see where we are going to be in the budget cycle. I highly prioritize this issue. I think that our staff does deserve bonuses, and it’s a high priority for me.”
City staff are expected to begin budget presentations in late July.
City Council reimbursement
Council members also approved the first reading of an amendment to the City Council and Mayor’s Compensation or Expense Reimbursement ordinance June 12.
The new policy will simplify how council members are reimbursed for expenses.
Council members will now receive $400 a month, and the mayor will get $550.
Under the current payment structure, council members receive $300 and up to $100 for expenses, and the mayor receives $450 and up to $100 for expenses.
The City Council Compensation Committee that meets every two years recommended the new amounts.
The committee’s report also recommended the council reconsider its compensation after the 2013 City Council elections. Once economic conditions improve, the council could increase the compensation amount to $500 for council members and $750 for the mayor, the report said.
The committee will meet again in 2014.