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Apr 14

City Manager's Message April 14: FY22 recommended budget

Posted on April 14, 2021 at 6:31 PM by Don Mann

Earlier today, I released key details of the FY 2022 Manager's Recommended Budget. I am writing to share key aspects of the budget with you, as has been my tradition. I also want to update you on our City operational status and plans to resume more normal service delivery.


This is my 12th budget as City Manager. While I know that each year presents its own unique challenges, none of us could have anticipated last year how the effects of Covid-19 would impact our lives personally as well as the community we serve.  Some of us have experienced loss first hand, and some of us are suffering from long-term effects from the disease, not to mention job impacts and changes to life as we knew it. Through it all, you have remained steadfast and continued to provide quality services to our citizens with the limited ability to fill vacant positions to ensure we could weather the uncertainty we knew the pandemic would bring. On behalf of our City Council, community and the entire management team, we remain grateful to each of you for what you have done and what you continue to do during these unprecedented times.
 
We are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel, however; and we are gradually and carefully beginning to reopen. On April 19, 2021, office staffing levels will increase to a minimum of 75% with the goal of 100% by May 10. Your department directors and supervisors are working to ensure the safety measures that have been in place are sustainable with more employees returning to the workplace. Each of us must continue to do our part as well by:
  • Wearing a face mask at all times in areas where the public is served and in any common areas shared with coworkers.
  • Practicing social distancing of at least 6 feet and hand washing or sanitizing.
  • Taking your temperature when entering City buildings and self-monitoring for symptoms before reporting to work. 
  • Each department has specific protocols, so please ask your supervisor how these guidelines apply to you.
As we return staffing to more in-person, we will expand our operations to citizens. I am pleased to share that our libraries will reopen starting next Monday, April 19. Our City-run community centers will reopen on Monday, May 3. 

As we begin to reopen and establish a new normal, I am pleased to share that my Fiscal Year 2022 Manager's Recommended Budget includes significant funding to reinforce our commitment to competitive pay to attract and retain talented employees. 

Specifically, the proposal includes:

  • A 3% general wage increase for eligible PFT, PPT and WAE employees for employees hired on or before 3/29/2021.
  • Compression adjustments of $100 per completed year of employment as of 7/1/2021 up to a maximum of $500 for PFT employees.
  • Health insurance premiums will not be rising this year -- this means employees will receive the full impact of the 3% raise and compression adjustments.
  • Funding the increase of the state minimum wage to $11/hour in July, six months ahead of the state requirement.
  • Salary range adjustments to position Hampton at or above the average in the region..
  • Targeted position adjustments with ranges that are still lagging behind the regional average and/or are hard-to-fill positions.
  • Funding for a merit bonus program that will reward outstanding work and demonstrated proficiency.
  • A mid-year Citizen Satisfaction Survey bonus of up to $250 for eligible PFT and up to $125 for eligible PPT and WAE employees.
  • Continuation of the personal day per quarter benefit.
Funding was particularly tight this year, as we continue to suffer from pandemic-related commercial revenue losses. We lost over $6 million in a combination of interest income and commercial real estate, meals, lodging and admission tax revenue. Virtually all new money available to the city budget went to this compensation proposal. I am pleased that these recommendations keep us in alignment with, or are better than, our peer localities. 

As a reminder, at this stage, these are recommendations. Council will consider the budget over the next month, and will make its final vote on May 12. After that adoption, I will report back on the final decisions.

 
In the meantime, I would like to publicly acknowledge and thank the wonderful group of department heads, assistant city managers, and our budget team for meeting the challenges posed by this year’s budget and the Covid-19 pandemic over the past year.
 
I remain extremely proud of how all of you have each risen to the challenge, delivered services differently, all in an effort to meet the needs of our citizens through such a difficult time.  We emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient than ever.

Thank you for your continued commitment to serve our community every day! 

— Mary

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