Florida Keys News - Islamorada/KL Free Press
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
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Sewer board to discuss manager's pay increase

KEY LARGO -- The Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District was expected to discuss extending its top administrator's current level of pay during its Tuesday, Nov. 11, meeting.

District Manager Margaret Blank is seeking a six-month extension of her current pay. In February, the board approved a new contract with Blank that raised her annual salary from $111,000 to $118,000.

The board was not expected to take any action on the request as the only items listed for a vote on the agenda was approval of the minutes of its Nov. 4 meeting and monthly expenditures.

The board has taken some grief from the public for its recent compensation actions. In June, it agreed to raise its attorney's salary from $90,000 to $96,000 beginning in October. The raise for Ray Giglio came one year after the board increased his pay from $60,000 to $90,000. Recently, the board divvied up $51,000 in back pay Giglio said its members were owed.

Meanwhile, discussions of a grievance policy are underway with some difference of opinion between Blank and the board as to who has the final say to eliminate a district worker's employment.

"I have faith in Margaret," board member Steve Gibbs told the Free Press.

Gibbs has been a steady supporter of Blank since he was elected to office last year.

"I don't believe in micromanaging," he said.

Board member Andy Tobin has long argued that more say in employment matters should reside with the board, while Gibbs prefers to hold Blank accountable. Tobin has recommended that outside counsel review hiring, firing and other labor decisions.

In addition to Blank's salary, the board was expected to discuss what standards to set for alleviating a commercial grinder pump customer's bill.

The district's Tuesday, Nov. 19, meeting has been moved from 4 p.m. to 3 p.m. to accommodate a visit to Key Largo by Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers.

Board member Steve Gibbs, who leads the Fair Share for Key Largo group, had previously scheduled for her to attend that organization's meeting at 4:30 p.m.

jgore@keysnews.com

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