Weather Forecast


Farmington sergeants agree to reduced raises

Sometimes you have to give a little, especially when it's for the greater good.

That's what Farmington's police sergeants figured this year, when they decided to ask for just half of their contracted raise amounts in 2011 and 2012. It's not the first time they've given concessions in the amount they're being paid, either.

"We knew it was the right thing for us to do," said administrative Sgt. Jim Constantineau.

Typically, the Farmington Police Department accounts for the lion's share of the annual operating costs in the city's budget. When city council members were faced with making significant cuts to the 2010 budget thanks to cuts in state aid, the police officers agreed to a round of cuts in the amount they receive for uniforms, Constantineau said. Typically, officers receive $700 each, annually, for uniforms. They gave back $500 each, which resulted in a savings of $13,000 for the city.

When city administrator Peter Herlofsky and human resources director Brenda Wendlandt approached the police department for another break this year, they told the officers they were under no obligation to take any cuts or make any concessions.

"But we were willing to sit down and talk with them," Constantineau said. "We realized it was the right thing to do because potentially, it was going to affect other city employees and the city's residents, also."

The police sergeants agreed to amend their collective bargaining agreement for the next few years. Instead of taking the 3.5 percent increase in pay they were granted, the sergeants agreed to a 1.75 percent increase in 2011, and again in 2012, with the stipulation that they also receive a 1.75 percent increase in 2013. In 2011 alone, that means the six police sergeants are giving a collective $35,000 back to the city's budget.

"We wanted to help out as much as we could. This was our way of saying, yes, we are willing to help," Constantineau said. "One of the things that made this easy and simple to do was the openness and the professional relationship we have with the city management."

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

(651) 702-0974