The Marietta City Council will consider on Feb. 12, increasing the salaries of five appointed officials.
Four of the officials will get 2 percent raises, if approved. Those include Municipal Court Judge Roger Rozen, Municipal Court Solicitor Robert Donovan, City Clerk Stephanie Guy and Betsey Kelley, administrative assistant to Mayor Steve Tumlin.
The five appointees considered for a salary surge answer directly to the City Council and did not receive the same 2 percent raise the roughly 700 other city of Marietta and Marietta Board of Lights and Water employees got at the beginning of the year.
The biggest hike is proposed for Bruton, the city’s highest executive, who would see a salary increase from $178,506 to $187,500.
By comparison, Smyrna City Administrator Eric Taylor, who holds the equivalent of Bruton’s position at a similar sized city, is paid $128,775 annually.
Mayor Steve Tumlin said Bruton’s contract was set to expire in April and is also up for a four-year renewal at the Feb. 2 meeting.
“His was basically a full contract price,” Tumlin said.
The city held off on raises until a balanced budget was approved, Tumlin said. In June, the City Council passed a balanced budget of $48.84 million, an increase of 1.4 percent, or $690,443, over the previous year’s budget.
Raises were given in 2013 but were not given for three years prior.
“I’ve been there four years and the first three across the board there were none for this particular group of people,” Tumlin said.
Councilwoman Michelle Cooper Kelly touted Bruton’s devotion to Marietta.
“He is probably one of the best city managers around and he has worked very diligently over the years, especially during the downturn of the economy, to keep Marietta balanced,” Kelly said.
Kelly said Bruton’s dedication makes the jobs of elected officials easier.
“Five percent probably doesn’t even begin to say how much he’s valued and worth,” Kelly said.
Other council members agree the five city appointees are deserving of the same raise afforded to other city employees.
“They’ve done good work and, just like our other employees, they put their time and put their service in,” said Councilman Philip Goldstein.
Councilman Stuart Fleming echoed that sentiment.
“I think the world of those folks and think they do a great job,” Fleming said. “I support continuing to compensate them in a way that keeps up with the market and ultimately the voters will decide for certain positions in the years ahead whether they’re compensated fairly.”
The raises are needed to keep up with inflation, said Councilman Grif Chalfant.
The Cobb Board of Commissioners gave county staff a 3 percent raise under the budget it adopted in September.