ROCKLAND, Maine — A divided city council voted Monday night to reject cost-of-living raises for the city clerk and attorney, making them the only two Rockland municipal employees not to get a pay hike.
The council voted 3-2 against 3 percent raises for City Clerk Stuart Sylvester and City Attorney Kevin Beal. Mayor Larry Pritchett and Councilors Louise MacLellan-Ruf and Elizabeth Dickerson voted against the raises.
MacLellan-Ruf said it was difficult to take the action with the two of them present but the council needed to start reining in spending.
Mayor Larry Pritchett said after the meeting that he agreed with MacLellan-Ruf’s position.
Councilor Dr. Eric Hebert said the money was already in the budget and that if councilors wanted to hold back on pay increases for employees they should do it next year when all workers can be treated equitably.
All other employees received cost-of-living raises on July 1 for 2014-2015, after councilors had approved funding for them in the budget.
The city attorney, city clerk and city manager are the only three employees under the direct supervision of the council. The other employees are under the supervision of the city manager who also serves as personnel director.
Luttrell received a cost-of-living raise as finance director but not as interim manager.
Sylvester and Beal said Tuesday they had no comment on the council action.
The city also required employees to pick up a bigger share of their health insurance this year. Coupled with the rising cost of insurance, employees who received raises either broke even or saw their take-home pay decline in 2014-2015.
Sylvester has been city clerk since 1988 and Beal was hired in 2007.