Editorial: Raises in question in uncertain timesFarmington city administrator Peter Herlofsky deserves some credit for declining a raise this year.
Farmington city administrator Peter Herlofsky deserves some credit for declining a raise this year. Other city employees are having their hours or their salaries cut this summer, and the city is looking for ways to squeeze everything it can out of its budget, so it would have been poor form for the city’s leader to see his salary grow.
Still, it’s a lot easier to accept a salary freeze when you know you’ve got three raises coming.
That’s the situation for Herlofsky, whose contract the Farmington City Council approved Monday on a 3-2 vote. The deal guarantees Herlofsky a $5,000 raise in each of the next three years. By 2012, that will give Herlofsky a salary of $135,000. That was hard for council members Julie May and Steve Wilson to accept at a time when many Farmington residents have been laid off and the city has the highest rate of foreclosures in Dakota County.
Perhaps the bigger issue, though, is that the contract rewards Herlofsky for work that has yet to occur. Whatever happens over the next three years, he is entitled to that money.
It’s possible, of course, that could end up being a bargain. If Herlofsky does remarkable work over the next three years he could earn those raises and more. According to mayor Todd Larson, Herlofsky’s performance review contained “by far” more positives than negatives.
We simply question the wisdom of committing to such raises when so much about the city’s financial situation is uncertain.