City Manager Milton Dohoney to get raise and bonus - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

City manager to get raise and bonus

Posted: Updated: Nov 16, 2012 06:11 AM
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Council did a preliminary vote on Wednesday to give City Manager Milton Dohoney a raise and bonus. On Thursday, they did an official vote.

The six council members who voted for the raise say Milton Dohoney hasn't had a raise in five years, but the numbers suggest otherwise. Dohoney was hired in 2006 at $205,000 a year. In 2007, he got a nine percent increase, two percent was labeled a 'Cost of Living Allowance' and the other seven percent was called a 'Merit Bonus'. That raise made his salary almost $224,000.

In 2008, he didn't get a raise and neither did city employees. But in 2009 and 2010 he got two more 'Cost of Living Allowance' increases that were two percent, which put his salary at the current rate of almost $233,000.

Dohoney is credited with being the driving force for major projects like The Banks and the multi-million dollar developments in Over-The-Rhine.

"He's the one that really goes out and puts together the deals that gets the developments done that are making the progress that we see in the city of Cincinnati," says Mark Mallory, the Mayor of Cincinnati. "All the great things that are going on, he's worth even more than we are paying him. So, I have no issues with the raise that we are giving him."

Dohoney was up for a raise in 2008 and 2010 but Mallory says he opted not to take it because of the poor economy. "There were years when the rest of the staff got a merit increase or a cost of living increase he did not include those things for himself when he did the budget," added Mallory. "We didn't realize that he wasn't doing that, or at least I didn't realize he wasn't doing that. When I realized that, I realized that we had to catch him up, we had to bring him up to the level that he should be getting paid. That's the fair thing to do."

In FOX19's commitment to Balanced News, some say since the city is in debt by $48 million, and no one should get raises.

"The city manager is a good man, he is a hard worker, but to me this just feels out of touch with the economic reality that we are in right now," said P.G. Sittenfeld, a councilman. "You don't give the highest paid employee in the city a raise, a significant raise, when you're facing a potentially huge budget deficit. Plus, you know, there's a very real possibility of layoffs."

Councilman Chris Seelbach doesn't support the pay increase either.

"At this point in our budget, I do not support a bonus or any increase in pay for the City Manager. I am more concerned with preventing layoffs and, if possible, increasing the pay of all City employees, rather than just one, especially given that the one currently makes well over $200,000," said Seelbach.

The vote by council Thursday will put Dohoney's salary at $255,000 next year and with the $35,000 bonus, he will make $290,000. The raise and bonus add up to an overall increase from his starting salary of about six percent a year. Also, the $35,000 bonus voted on today is 15 percent of his salary.

"Explain to me how you have council members who have repeatedly stated that in bad economic times he didn't get anything. So, we're rewarding him now a $35,000 bonus because during bad economic times we didn't give him anything. Well, I'm sorry but in 2007 he was making $205,000. In 2012 he's making $232,000 so you explain to me how he didn't get a raise or a bonus or a cost of living like every other city employee but all of a sudden he's at $232,000," said President of the Union for the Cincinnati Police Kathy Harrell.

"We've got city employee after city employee which has agreed to take no wage increase whatsoever but we are rewarding our City Manager," said Harrell. "Well, I'm sorry but he's not the only one who's making this city a great city. All city employees are. But we agreed not to take raises to help the city out. It's like a slap in the face."

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