Phoenix City Council approves tentative budget for 2011-12

by Lynh Bui – May. 25, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

After two hours of deliberations speckled with boos, cheers, gripes and tense exchanges between city management and elected officials, the Phoenix City Council voted 6-2 to approve City Manager David Cavazos’ proposed spending plan for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

The plan includes $11.6 million in merit-pay increases and $17.3 million in longevity awards to employees, controversial inclusions that dominated much of the meeting.

Nearly 20 residents gave testimony objecting to the budget or the pay increases and awards, which total $28.9 million…

…Council members Bill Gates and Sal DiCiccio voted against the budget. Mayor Phil Gordon and council members Bryan Jeffries, Claude Mattox, Michael Nowakowski, Tom Simplot and Thelda Williams voted in favor of the city manager’s proposal. Councilman Michael Johnson was absent from the meeting.

Gates said he wanted the city to have more in-depth discussion of the budget and the merit- and longevity-pay issue before voting on the budget. DiCiccio was opposed to the pay increases and longevity awards.

Gordon said DiCiccio and others were “mischaracterizing” the issue for “political gains.”…

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