Wildwood’s municipal clerk, tax collector and chief financial officer have filed a lawsuit against the city seeking raises in line with those awarded to other city employees this year.
The lawsuit also challenges the city’s decision to have them take 17 furlough days between Nov. 15 of this year and May 23, 2011.
Attorney Colin Bell said Clerk Christopher Wood, Tax Collector Faith Wilson and Chief Financial Officer Jeanette Powers notified the city of their concerns about the disparate salary increases and furlough days, but the city moved ahead with both programs.
“They didn’t want to resort to filing (a lawsuit), but they didn’t have a choice,” Bell said Sunday.
According to the lawsuit, Wood, Wilson and Powers, each a tenured city employee, received 2 percent raises for the year retroactive to July 1 along with several other non-union employees.
“Wildwood granted substantially larger salary increases to other officers and employees than the salary increases granted to plaintiffs,” the lawsuit states.
As an example, the lawsuit notes the hiring of City Administrator Dale Goodreau.
Goodreau was hired, starting June 28, for the new position of administrator with a salary of $100,000. His contract entitles him to a 10 percent salary increase on Jan. 1.
The lawsuit also notes the hiring of municipal prosecutor Samuel Lashman at an annual salary of $65,000 compared to the previous prosecutor, who earned $28,000.
Wood, Wilson and Powers cite both as examples of other city employees receiving significant sums of money compared to their 2 percent raises. With those raises, Wood receives $65,630, Wilson earns $66,885 and Powers is paid $94,540 annually.
The lawsuit also notes that, according to the city’s payroll records, the weighted average pay increase was 5.15 percent, while the median raise was 11 percent. That includes contractual salary increases with the city’s union employees.
Wildwood Mayor Gary DeMarzo said Sunday he had no comment on the lawsuit, but hoped to make a formal statement soon.
Bell said the three employees “are not looking for anything huge,” just increases in keeping with the other raises given in the city. “Somewhere above 2 percent,” Bell said.
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