Scottsdale City Council approved sizable pay bumps for most of the city’s charter officers in the new fiscal year – with the City Manager getting a 24 percent raise.
The raises come a year after the Council chose not to increase their salaries as the city grappled with the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But 12 months later, the city fared better than expected.
According to the city’s financial report, revenues were 12 percent higher than forecasted through March 31 and included a local sales tax haul of $114.5 million, which was 17 percent higher than expected.
Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega told the Progress the charter officers earned the salary increases.
“Working with the Charter officers directly over the last six months, I am especially impressed by their responsiveness and professionalism…each of these raises were the right call and, for me, easy to make,” Ortega said.
City Manager Jim Thompson, who has held the position since 2017, saw the largest bump, with his salary increasing from $278,889 to $347,000.
Ortega referred to Thompson as the “dean of Arizona City Managers.”
“Jim has earned my trust and confidence by ‘pushing back’ as different solutions are determined by our Council,” he said.
In 2013, the Phoenix City Council offered the City Manager position to Ed Zuercher at $315,000.
“Since that time, Mr. Zuercher has not taken a raise and continues to make the same salary,” a city spokesman said.
Sherry Scott, a former deputy city attorney who has worked for the city since 2001 and was appointed City Attorney in October 2019, got a 12 percent raise to $245,000 heading into her second full year on the job.
Ortega said Scott was a valuable resource, especially during the pandemic.
“Before taking the Oath of Office, Attorney Sherry Scott helped me craft the Emergency Proclamations concerning COVID; and nearly every day we discuss complex issues,” he said.
Similarly, Ortega credited Walker, the city’s auditor, with providing the Council with detailed reports on city functions and contracts to aid in decision making.
Walker will earn $205,000 this year, up 11 percent from her salary last year.
Thompson, Scott and Walker are three of the city’s five charter officers.
The other officers, City Clerk Ben Lane and Treasurer Sonia Andrews, were hired by the city in recent months to replace former Clerk Carolyn Jagger and former Treasurer Jeff Nichols, who both announced their retirements last year.
Lane, a former deputy city clerk in Phoenix, took office in March and has an annual salary of $155,000 under his current contract.
Andrews left her position as CFO in the City of Peoria to come to Scottsdale. She started on June 1 and has an annual salary of $198,000.