Just months after Opa-locka disclosed its deepening financial deficit and ousted two top administrative officials, city commissioners have agreed to give their newly appointed Interim City Manager David Chiverton a raise.
Elected officials attempted to compensate Chiverton for the last-minute promotion last month, less than two weeks after he stepped into the job, but deferred any decision about his pay until the new year.
The move, led by Commissioner Luis Santiago, comes less than two months after the commission ousted City Manager Steve Shiver in November. Assistant City Manager Tom Marko then resigned the same week as Shiver.
The city approved adding $25,000 to Chiverton’s $96,000 annual salary, which is still lower than the $150,000-a-year contract offered to Shiver for the top spot.
“Compared to my predecessors it’s a nominal amount,” Chiverton said in an interview Thursday, adding he was “very happy” about the job. “It’s not just about the compensation. It’s about bringing the city back to a level of financial balance.”
As part of the agreement, Chiverton will retroactively be paid for the work he’s done since stepping into the position.
Chiverton said the additional compensation will not adversely affect the city’s current budget, but will act instead as a “substitute of items that had been there” referring to Shiver and Marko.
“I see the great mountain our interim manager is going to have to overcome,” Commissioner Terence Pinder said during the meeting Wednesday night. “I think $25,000 is the least we can do at this time.”
The vote was 4-1. Commissioner Joseph Kelley voted against the item.
“It’s nothing I have against the interim manager. … I just have a real challenge at this moment giving anyone additional funds,” he said.
90-day moratorium: City commissioners rejected a resolution to impost a three-month ban on “certain city spending.” Santiago, who sponsored the item, said his intention was to help cut unnecessary costs to counter the city’s financial trouble, but he was not clear which line items should be removed from the budget. The dais voted 4-1 against the resolution.
Financial Recovery Plan: Opa-locka unanimously agreed to push back the city’s self-created deadline to submit a financial action plan for their mounting debts to the governor’s chief inspector general’s office until February. The original deadline was Jan. 14, but the city failed to create a plan in time. The city owes the county millions in unpaid water, sewer and other fees.
Waste Services: The commission requested city staff develop a request for proposal for the city’s residential and commercial solid waste and disposal services to be approved at the next commission meeting. Opa-locka currently has a contract with Universal Waste Services that will expire this November.
You said it
“I’m glad 2015 is gone. 2015 was a dismal year for us.” – resident Alvin Burke.
The next meeting
When: 7 p.m. Jan. 27
Where: Sherbondy Village Auditorium, 215 Perviz Ave., Opa-locka