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City approves NL salaries for FY 2013

NORTH LIBERTY– As a new fiscal year begins, the City of North Liberty launches its 2012-2013 budget. The city council approved without discussion the salary schedule for the city’s 138 full-time and part-time employees.
The city now has 17 employees in its police department; 14 officers who are paid hourly, a chief and assistant chief who receive a monthly salary, and one hourly-paid administrative assistant. The North Liberty Fire Department remains mostly volunteer, with two part-time, salaried positions with the chief and assistant chief.
North Liberty City Administrator Ryan Heiar and City Attorney Scott Peterson are the two highest paid employees in the city, both of whom are paid a gross annual salary of $115,051. Police Chief Jim Warkentin is the second highest-paid personnel, at $86,361 annually. Assistant City Administrator Tracey Mulcahey receives $77,646, Waste Water Superintendent Dave Ramsey is compensated at $71,500 per year, and several city department heads including Water Superintendent Greg Matternach, Streets Superintendent Don Colony, Parks Superintendent Guy Goldsmith and Library Director Dee Crowner, as well as City Planner Dean Wheatley and Building Official Tom Palmer, are all paid at the same monthly rate, each earning $77,459 per year.
Overall, the new salaries reflect a two percent cost-of-living increase over last year’s compensations.
The city conducted a wage compensation study in 2007, hiring independent consultant Austin Peters Group, Inc., of Kansas City for $30,000, to help determine a formalized wage structure for city employees. The month-long study reviewed employees’ supervisory responsibilities, job values and pay scales, and compared them to an external market to determine whether North Liberty city staff members were being paid fairly and adequately. The report also offered ideas for creating a classification system and performance evaluations for jobs within various city departments. At that time, the council approved Austin Peters’ recommendation of adopting pay ranges that put North Liberty’s city employees in the 50th percentile among peer cities, and agreed to a minimum three-percent pay raise for all part-time employees over three years. The city also established policies for job performance evaluation, longevity and merit pay beginning in fiscal year 2008.
The city’s 2012-13 personnel budget totals $5,106,349.
As public employees’ salaries are public record, Heiar provided a list of personnel wages in last Tuesday’s council packets. All compensations listed are gross wages, and do not include health insurance, life insurance and disability benefits, IPERS contributions, overtime pay or other expense allowances.