Town must juggle employees, fair tax rates

Date Published: 
Jan. 27, 2017

The Ocean View Town Council recently held a special workshop to review and discuss a compensation survery that was completed at the end of 2016.

The survey revealed that Town employees make “on average 10 percent less than market midpoint levels, which leave them vulnerable to being hired away by the compeitition,” said Charles Hendricks, of Hendricks & Associates.

Hendricks recommended a salary increase of 6 to 7 percent, if affordable. And, judging by the comments from council members, there was little disagreement with that assessment.

“We all want to do the right thing,” said Mayor Walter Curran. “By the same token, we have a budget that we have to create.”

“I want to do what’s right for the Town and what’s right for the Town employees,” said Councilman Frank Twardzik.

And that’s where it gets interesting. Nobody in the Town of Ocean View is disputing the talent of their staff — on the administrative, police or maintenance side — but any governmental body is restricted heavily by the cash on hand. So are businesses, but businesses have the opportunity to expand their revenues (obviously not easily, but possible), while towns would have to raise people’s taxes to take in more money. And nobody wants that.

It is a difficult balancing act, but keeping good employees is not only good for business, but good for the residents. We’re confident in the council that they will figure out an equitable plan.