QUINCY, Fla. (WTXL) — Quincy City commissioners could soon turn their $16,000 salaries into $37,000 if they approve the 2022 budget as proposed.
The current budget proposal allocates more than $120,000 dollars for commissioners' salaries, plus benefits, and the addition of a new commissioner assistant position. While most people would love to be able to put a few more bucks in the bank, commissioner Frieda Bass Prieto said, in this case, it would not be fair.
"I can't see the commission having priority over the citizens' needs ever," Prieto said.
During the commission's Tuesday evening budget hearing, Prieto motioned to remove the raises and the corresponding benefits from the budget but was out-voted. She persists in her fight against the pay increase, saying, "We had a laundry list of things that our city needed that we could not fund."
Those include things like road updates and drainage repair that could be funded with the money used for pay increases.
Neighbors like Alex Sink oppose the raises as well, saying "no, they've not earned it." He believes the funds would better serve the city "as far as infrastructure, as far as security, and just taking care of the community as a whole." He even suggests a bit of a compromise.
"Administer it like a grant," Sink said. "If the commissioners do a good job and improve their district, then they get the 10 percent administrative fee as a bonus."
Those in favor of the increase insist that the time and dedication required to lead the community are worthy of full-time pay.
City finance advisor Jack McLean said wouldn't mean a single penny more out of taxpayers' pockets.
"The mileage rate will stay the same, and the utility rate that we charge for electric water and sewer will stay the same for this budget," McLean said. "So the additional $122,000 will not have any impact on those two areas."
Commissioners will meet to review the budget once more before it's finalized.