City approves bonuses and party for employees
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WILMINGTON NC (WWAY) -- The issue of bonuses for city employees was expected to be a hot button topic at tonight’s city council meeting, but with no public opposition, council passed the motion unanimously.

The Mayor says all of the money for the bonuses and the party for city employees came from payroll cuts and budget reductions over the past two years.

With it's cut backs the city has saved the 1.2 million dollars to fund the bonuses and all departments are challenged to continue to save.

Here are the numbers: $1,000 for current full time employees, pro rated for current part time, $100 for other employees and $7,000 for a party

Mayor Saffo says, “It is time to to say thank you to city employees who have faced cuts”.

With the bonuses coming just in time for the holidays, council members hope the money makes for a Merry Christmas and flows back into the local economy.

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How many employees does the city have? If all the money is to be used on the bonuses and "party" then my math tells me about 1,000 employees but that sounds out of the ballpark. How is the remainder of the funds going to used?

First I am happy for the employees of the City of Wilmington as I am sure they deserve it. I am surprised though as I have always been told as a local government or State employee, that bonuses were not allowed with public funds but perhaps the City is structured differently. I can only hope that the County Commissioners and management can learn from the City and provide us with compensation for our hard work in the near future. In my case, I have gone without a raise for five years while everything has increased including our work load but I am thankful for my job and pray they will recognize our dedication.

Absolute arrogance. Tough times call for tough decisions, I guess times are not as tough as we're being told.
Bill Saffo don't cry poor mouth if you've got 1.2 million to throw around.

Bookmark this story so when the city council starts crying about how they can't balance the city budget...well...do I need to go on?
On the flip side of this bonus...when they find out 45% of it is eaten away in taxes and pension holdings/then will be adjusted gross income filing next year...it won't seem as sweet as the media is making it. The $1,000 take home will be more like $250. Just saying.....

maybe brunswick county can find a little this year for a cost of living raise it's only been 5 years snce the last one!!!!

Where I work, we are awarded bonuses based on our longevity at the job and the proformance, and what we brought to the table for our business in the past year. I am very blessed to have such a job, and I am inspired to do more because it benefits my company and my family.

I find it difficult to believe that $1000.00 would be given out unilaterally based on being "full time" only. That means that the employees that work hard, give input, strive to make the difference get exactly the same as an employee who slacks off, could care less except for the paycheck, and doesn't appreciate the opportunity they have. Believe me, these people work for the City of Wilmington, just like they do for any corporation! If I was a go-getter and worked for the city, I would be pretty upset at this whole notion.

And $7,000.00 for a party? PLEASE! Tell me why everyone couldn't just get together and bring a covered dish and have a good old time! How many families would the additional $7000.00 have helped.

I know, I didn't go to the meeting either, because I don't live in the city limits, but still, people of Wilmington, think about it....you SHOULD have been there.

Now all of you who have reading retention deficit, which is rampant it seems, I am happy for the employees to receive these bonuses. I simply think the method of dispersement is unfair and the party is a waste of money.

Since you dont live in the city limits then your opinion does not count!

It's so funny how you admit you weren't at the council meeting, but you continue to ramble on and give your uneducated opinion about how city employees should feel about giving part of their bonus to short timers.

No, I'm not a city employee. But I watched the meeting, and I can tell you that city employees believe they are all in this together, whether they are long term or short term, and unlike some selfish people, they believe in sharing what they get with their fellow coworkers.

What's the point in having an appreciation party for employees if you make them bring their own dish? How ridiculous is that? You're going to fault them for giving their employees a few hot dogs? Really?

Honestly, your job must be to spread ignorance.

This group is what the voters approved during the last election. So,no one can expect any other results from their complaints.

I think it's wonderful. This act will go a long way with producing good employee moral. In Brunswick County School system we haven't had a raise in 4 years. The new hires make more money than teachers that were hired 4 years ago. They increased beginning salary but no raises which lowered moral. Nice job City of Wilmington.

Thank you for such a nice comment. We're all in this together. I hope you get an increase soon!

Dear valued government employees: I am glad that we taxpayers get to throw you a party. Have a drink for me. Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of the workers in the private sector have seen their income DECREASE during the recession, receive NO Christmas bonuses and also receive NO party. Oh, and the vast majority of us have also seen our health insurance premiums go through the roof. Oh, and also our employers have asked us to work more and more hours as they fire more and more of our co-workers. So, yes, raise your taxpayer-funded glass for those of us in the real world.

You work for the Local Realtor Board?

I am not a city employee so it does not benefit me to defend the bonuses. However, city employees are working for a company as is everyone els and it is not as if it is unheard of to give bonuses this time of year most. Would you have preferred that city employees not have their pay cut two years ago instead of the bonus because I amn sure the employees would prefer trhat option too.

The best time to voice your opposition to a city employee bonus was at last night's council meeting, which you obviously did not attend or you would not have made some of the comments you made in your post.

It was brought out that City employees, because of increases in premium health care costs and decreases in 401(k) employer contributions, have gone through a 10% decrease in pay.

There has been a 30% increase in the city population since 2003, and many city employees have left due to retirement or gone to work for other companies that pay better than the city. There has also been a hiring freeze for quite a while, so current city employees have done more with less.

Even though they have less employees, they are expected to increase their work load to cover for those who left and handle the increase of infrastructure due to the increase in population. They haven't had anything for 3 years, and have actually seen their pay level drop 10%. They deserve their increase. They worked for it, and they earned it.

Cheers, city employees! Bottoms up! There are many of us who are happy for you!

What you are forgetting is that they all still work 40 hours per week. Let me know if you can find a zoning official in the office after 430pm or on the weekend. They still pump out the same volume of work. No more no less !!!

So, they cut services, lay off people, and don't fill vacant positions so they can save money for bonuses and a PARTY? That is our taxpayer money they are spending and I, for one, would at the very least like an invitation to the party. I like the way they waited until after the election to announce this although it probably has been in the works for weeks.
Thanks to the mayor and our council for another brilliant use of may money.

Sorry, Doofus, but you didn't DO anything to deserve being invited to this party. This is for hard working city employees who have not only met, but exceeded management expectations over the past 3 years.
It amounts to about $5.50 for each city employee for their "lavish" party. That won't buy a chocolate fountain, but it will buy a few hot dogs.

This bonus was timed to be near Christmas, so that employees could not only enjoy Christmas with their families, but also stimulate the local economy with their bonuses. You should have been at last night's meeting and you could have learned all about it. But that would take an effort on your part, wouldn't it?

Typical government worker mentality. In case you forgot, you work for me. I help pay your salary and everything else the city owns, and I have been for 21 years since I lived here, so you shouldn't be calling me or anyone else names.
Thanks for proving me correct about the party being in the works for months.
The city must have lowered their expectations of their employees if we hired you.

Guess what? I help pay my own salary too.

Idiot!!!

If you had watched the video of last night's meeting, you would know that management has been saving and scrimping for the past year or so to save enough money for this small picnic. We're always complaining that government agencies don't know how to cut back and save money, but when they do, we jump down their throats.

No matter what they did, you would complain. That's just your negative, complaining personality.

Marshall McLuham once said, "A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding." In your case, he was SO right.

I am complaining. I am complaining about stupid people that save money by cutting services to all the people, by cutting the work force and putting people out of jobs and then using MY money for a party for a select few and giving out bonuses to even fewer. All of you city workers do work for me and everyone else in the city whether you like it or not. I guess I should be happy for all of you idiots that think this is a good idea. You probably work for the city.

No where in my post did I say I'm a city worker. I am not. No services will be cut to anyone, and no workforce cuts will be made. You're just trying to grasp for straws but you come off looking even more ridiculous. Isn't your mama calling you to dinner yet?

Good grief! At least fake it and show SOME amount of intelligence. You post some of the most asinine responses I've ever seen.

Now there sits a man with an open mind. You can feel the draft from here.

I'm NOT a government worker. You just assumed I was because I said that they deserve a bonus. Being the selfish moron that you are, you think it must have benefitted me personally to feel that way. Amazing what ignorant jerks will think if you give them enough rope to hang themselves.

You've only lived here 21 years - I've lived here all my 63, so I think I know a little more about this city than you do. At least I show enough interest to attend council meetings. I'll guarantee you don't, Double Doofus.

Thank you, City Council, for our bonuses. It couldn't have come at a better time. Now my kids can have Christmas!

I'm very grateful for the bonus, but it won't go back into the local economy. It will go back to the city to pay my property taxes. My kids still won't get a Christmas.

Because you received a bonus, your kids can now have a Christmas? Or they can't have a Christmas because you have to pay your property taxes?

Wow. A lot of unverified, anonymous drama here. The problem with idiotic statements of this order is that we have no way of verifying how you handle your money to begin with. Do you smoke, drink, have the latest 4G iphone? What things do you waste your money on that you couldn't afford a some type of holiday present for your kid? Is it eating out two or three times a week?

A lot of people make a lot of money, but can't manage it. There are those that make next to nothing, but could afford to buy their kids a Christmas present. Before you get on here and whine about what a 1000 dollars would do for you, I suggest you get a handle on your finances. Maybe take a look at priorities...many in our society have confused wants with needs.

Still, I do agree that the bonus is probably in order for those employees...I know they do work hard for what they earn, and for those that work in the private sector, there are lots of personal standards for public employees that you don't have to meet. DUI, fired. Urinalysis..random...test positive, fired. This list goes on...

Regardless of the peanut gallery comments, it did take a little bit of leadership and guts for the council to approve this, knowing what the internet vultures were going to scream about. (That's a pretty small number anyway.)

You sure are judgmental of people and circumstances you don't even know. My $1,000 bonus, which will probably be around $800 after taxes, will go toward my $1,400 property tax bill. There are many people struggling in this economy, so why tear apart a city employee just because they’re struggling too?

I don't smoke, drink, or have the latest 4G iphone, and I don't eat out 2 or 3 times a week. I'm frugal with my money, but kids get sick and need dental work. I'm getting older now, too, and have several medical problems of my own. One of my older sons had to move back home because he got laid off from his job, so I've been trying to help him pay his bills so it won't go against his credit and make it harder for him to get a job.

You must have had a very unhappy childhood to be such a negative person. I really feel sorry for you.

GuestDoubtful, you're a total jerk. It's none of your business what GuestGrateful's personal circumstances are. They are apparently severe enough that he/she is struggling to make ends meet in this economy, just like a lot of us are. If you were twice as smart as you are now, you'd be absolutely stupid. Mind your own business.