This summer, Mayor Dwight Jones asked to boost the pay being offered for the vacant Minority Business director position. Council member Bruce Tyler, immediately voiced concerns. He also started looking into the pay of high level city leaders under Jones, versus two years ago under Doug Wilder. Tyler told me, “The salaries in those two departments are 20% higher than what they were when Mayor Wilder walked out the door. We have been in a freeze for almost two years now, and yet these two departments have grown significantly in dollars.”
We took a look and here’s what we found. First I’ll list a few salaries to compare.
Under Doug Wilder (in 2008) Under Dwight Jones(2010)
Chief of Staff: S.Robinson $162,000 S. Denslow-$174,559
Mayor: Doug Wilder- $167,039 Dwight Jones-$174,559
Policy Advisor: Kim Neal $106,380 David Hicks-$146,964
CAO: Sheila Hill-Christian $198,280 Byron Marshall-$243,664
When to add up everything in the Mayor’s Office and CAO’s office under Dwight Jones the total spent on employees is $2,510,990
When you do the same with the figures from the Wilder Administration in 2008, the total spent on employees is $2,079,798
Under the Jones Administration the salaries in the top-level are 21% higher.
The Mayor’s Press secretary issued this statement today. Tammy Hawley said, “Putting together a talented team takes an investment. We must be competitive with our surrounding counties and be able to attract the necessary talent to Richmond to move us toward becoming a Tier One city. The results and the outcomes speak for themselves. For example, in our first two budgets, we’ve achieved $30 million in reduced spending with no tax increases and no reduction in essential services. We can only realize these types of accomplishments by having the right team in place for a well-managed government. We intend to operate at full throttle; anything less will not serve the residents of Richmond well or move this city forward.”
We also showed the numbers to a politic professor at the University of Richmond. Tom Sheilds said, “I think someone’s trying to make political hay out of not a lot there.” Shields went on to say, “The best people demand the best salaries. If you do a national search and you try to get the best people in then you might as well pay them the best you can.” He also points out that the city’s top salaries are still much lower than the counties. Shields said, “If you want to do a comparison, Virgil Hazelett in Henrico County makes $290,000. There’s no one in the city of Richmond that makes $290,000. “