BONITA SPRINGS, Fla.- The Mayor of Bonita Springs says the recent three percent pay raise for all city employees won't impact the city's finances. The city council voted 4 to 3 Wednesday to give the 50 full-time, eight part-time and seven elected officials a pay raise to combat the state's new pension legislation.
"It doesn't have any affect, it doesn't raise the debt, it doesn't lower it," Mayor Ben Nelson, Jr said.
Starting July first, all public employees enrolled in the state's retirement fund will have to contribute three percent of their pay to the program.
But the raises will come to an end in October, when the new city budget goes into effect.
"The budget, as I understand it, will not have that three percent there," Nelson said.
Councilman Steven Slatcha voted against the measure. He says the pay raises send the wrong message, no matter how short lived they may be.
"I have a neighbor that's a state employee and they're gonna be paying the three percent," Slatcha said, "nobody is coming to their rescue."
Similar pay raises aren't likely to occur in other towns in southwest Florida. Cape Coral and Fort Myers city employees already contribute more than three percent to a private retirement fund.
"I don't want anybody paying my portion of the retirement, especially with taxpayers money," said Slatcha.
City Manager Carl Schwing, who started the job earlier this month, says he won't take the pay bump.