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Apr 11

4-11-18: FY 19 Manager's Recommended Budget

Posted on April 11, 2018 at 2:53 PM by Fred Gaskins

Earlier today, I shared a preview of the FY 2019 Manager's Recommended Budget with Council. The full budget will be released on Sunday. Copies will be available on the internet and in the library. As I have always done, I would like to share a few details of particular interest to employees with you before you see them in the paper.

While our revenue sources continue to improve, the growth in value of real estate has been modest (just under 1%). Since the real estate tax is by far our largest source of revenue, balancing the budget remained a tough task. There is so much we would like to do for our employees and community, but we - like our residents in their households - must live within our means. Slow revenue growth thus dictated that we identify only a handful of areas for new investment. Our priorities were/are: employee compensation, public education and public safety.

I am pleased that we were able to address these three areas without a tax or fee increase. The budget I previewed today does so in the following ways:

- A 2% salary increase for full-time employees hired on or before March 31, 2018 and qualified part-time employees hired on or before December 31, 2017. Part-time employees must average 20 hours of work for the 38-week period of 7/1/17-3/28/18. 

- Recurring and one-time increase for our Hampton City Schools which will facilitate a 2% raise for their employees and support their transformational College and Career Academies program

- Increases to fight crime including new positions for the Police Division and the Commonwealth Attorney's Office as well as additional funds for enhanced public safety street lighting and surveillance systems
 
To further elaborate on the employee compensation aspects of this budget, let me first say that I most certainly would have liked to have done more for the workforce. I truly believe, as I have often said, that we have the best, hardest-working employees of any city government. Our workforce deserves all we can give them and more. However, the 2% general wage increase is in full alignment with other regional localities' proposals for their staff, and unfortunately the revenue growth did not support more.
 
I am pleased to report that our health insurance has only a small increase this year ($1.32 per pay period for employee only; $2.40 per pay period for employee plus one minor; and, $5.18 per pay period for family coverage). Moreover, we will finally be able to offer 100% coverage for preventive health services. As a previously grandfathered plan, our employees have had copays for these services. Starting with our plan renewal, this will no longer be the case. Because the health insurance impacts are minimal, most of the 2% salary increase will end up in take-home pay increases.
 
We are pleased to continue to offer 100% coverage of the employee share of life insurance, the bonus personal days (one per quarter) and especially the December Citizen Satisfaction bonus. The December bonus will provide up to $250 for eligible full-time employees and up to $125 for eligible part-time employees. The actual amount will be based on results of the survey.
 
As we go through the budget process, I will continue to keep you informed. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me. I am always glad to help in any way I can.
 
Thank you for all you continue to do for our community. Hampton is better because of each of you and what you do each day!

Mary

Comments

Carol Yannarella
May 2, 2018 at 9:08 AM
Mary, as always you are awesome! Keep up the great work. Hampton loves you!

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