Mayor Reed: His 2013 Goals

I’m not really sure how to #file this post.  I deem it more than just an event announcement though.

Buzz included an article in the Morning Reads stating Mayor Reed lets Council pay increase become law, but wants to talk raises for employees.  The highlights:

  • Mayor Reed has allowed a roughly 50% pay increase for City Council members to become law, but is also committing to sit down with employees next month to discuss an across-the board pay increase for more than 7,500 rank and file staff.
  • [I applaud this statement]: “We see a path where we can afford pay raises (for all employees),” Reed said this week. “But we are going to do it in a thoughtful and responsible and, most importantly, sustainable way.”
  • The City Council pay increases will increase the annual salary for City Council members to $60,300, an increase of more than $20,000.
  • Bridg Facts on my Councilmen:  The [Marietta] Mayor is currently compensated at $18,000 per year, $1,500 per month (Ord. #6793, Approved 4/13/2005, Effective 1/2/2006).  The 7 [Marietta] Council members are currently compensated at $13,000 per year, $1,083.33 per month, plus $150 expenses (Ord. #6793, Approved 4/13/2005, Effective 1/2/2006).
  • I get it – City of Atlanta and City of Marietta aren’t apples to apples…just setting some baselines.
  • Back to the article: The size of a potential pay bump for employees is not known, but discussions at City Hall have centered around an increase of low- to mid-single digit percentages i.e. the Council votes themselves a 50% increase, everyone else gets a potential 1-5% increase…and a piece of cake.

And now to what caught my eye:  Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Discusses his 2013 Goals at the Atlanta Press Club – Jan. 10.  In general, I want to high five the PR person who wrote this bio.  Completely unsarcastic – it’s compelling and makes me want to attend the event and hear his goals for 2013.

Kasim Reed was inaugurated as the 59th Mayor of the City of Atlanta on January 4, 2010. Since then, he has hired more than 600 police officers, re-opened all of the city’s recreation centers as safe havens for young people and improved core city services such as fire-rescue response times and sanitation operations. Working with the Atlanta City Council and the city’s employee unions, he successfully initiated a series of sweeping reforms to address the city’s $1.5 billion unfunded pension liability. Mayor Reed began his term facing a $48 million budget shortfall; under his leadership, the city has had three years of balanced budgets with no property tax increases, and its cash reserves have grown from $7.4 million to more than $100 million.

Since this luncheon is open to the public, I assume he’ll be asked, “So, Mayor Reed, can you tell me more about this $100M cash reserve?”

  • I do NOT envy the Mayor.  His hands are FULL – but I’m starting to see a pattern of cash reserves being vaguely referenced for multiple projects and wonder if the same pile of money is being dangled for each initiative.
  • A reminder that he stated in this stadium article that “Atlanta also has $53 million in cash available for economic development projects in the Westside tax allocation district, which includes the stadium district.”

Like I said – this isn’t an article; there’s no wrongdoing being reported.  I’m just making an observation that I’m legitimately interested to hear his plans for 2013 particularly as it relates to the cash being referenced on various projects.