TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — City of Quincy Mayor Ronte Harris said the city commission as a whole will have to decide how to move forward after a grand jury's review of salary raises for Quincy City Commissioners.
"That will be a decision of the commission," said Harris. "So I don't wan to be confined to a particular answer, but I will say this, this is a decision of the commission."
The Grand jury has said although the actions of the Quincy City Commission were legal in giving themselves a pay increase from $16,000 a year to $37,000, saying in part: "The City Commissioners who voted for the pay raise abused the power and responsibility afforded them by our current city charter."
According to the Grand Jury, in September of 2021, the commission voted to give themselves the 13th highest salary among 411 municipalities in the State of Florida, despite having a population of 7,800.
Harris said that the salary increases could encourage more people to run for city commission, and focus on the job at hand without having to worry about other work.
"I think what it will do will open up the electorate," said Harris. "It will open that pool up larger. You have average common people now who will be willing to give up their part time job to actually serve."
The grand jury said that there should be steps put in place to keep large salary increases from happening again in the City of Quincy which include a no more than a 2% increase until a council member is elected to a new term, Increases would also need to be voted on by residents.
Or a salary survey is done of similar size cities prior to adoption.
Upon the findings of the Grand Jury, State Attorney Jack Campbell said that it's up to the city commission, and voters, on how to move forward.
"The way that the system is set up, the Grand Jury found, and it is true, that the city of quincy, city commission can set their salary whatever they want it to be, whether that's wise or unwise," said Campbell. "The Grand Jury opined that it was unwise and not in accord with the best interest of their city."
The Grand Jury also recommended that increases be tied to population growth and no increase greater than amount received by general employees of the city.