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The Villages
Thursday, October 6, 2022

Lady Lake leaders agree to increase pay hike for town’s non-union employees

Lady Lake commissioners agreed Thursday morning to provide the town’s non-union employees up to a 7 percent pay increase in the coming year.

The commission, in a workshop session Thursday morning at Lady Lake Town Hall, came to a consensus to increase the budgeted pay raise from 5 to 7 percent.

Commissioner Ruth Kussard, a resident of the Village of La Reynalda, suggested the 7 percent pay increase, which would include a 5 percent cost of living adjustment and a 2 percent merit raise. Employees will not be guaranteed the merit raises. Those will be awarded at the discretion of supervisors and the town manager.

Lady Lake’s Public Works employees would be among those seeing a potential pay increase raised from 5 to 7  percent as a result of discussion at a commission workshop Thursday morning. The commission will vote on the budget on Wednesday night.

Kussard said she had “agonized” over the pay issue and expressed sympathy for town workers who are feeling the pain of inflation.

Town Manager William Lawrence, noting that inflation is at about 9 percent, agreed with Kussard’s assessment of the situation.

“They have less money for food and gas. They have less disposable income,” Lawrence said.

Commissioners will be voting on a balanced budget of $35.8 million when they meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Commissioners usually meet on Monday, but the meeting has been moved to Wednesday because of the Labor Day holiday. Even with the increase of raises for non-union employees from 5 to 7 percent, the budget will still be balanced.

During the workshop session, commissioners did not address a recent bargaining session between the town and the Lady Lake Police Benevolent Association. The police officers are seeking a 12 percent pay increase and would like to see the starting salary for new officers boosted to $50,079 from the current $44,900.

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