Salary Breakdown: How Gainesville's City Manager's Salary Compares
A week after Gainesville selected its new city manager, Lee Feldman's new salary was set.
Feldman earned $255,000 a year at his previous job in Fort Lauderdale until he was fired a year ago.
City commissioners said they were going in a "new direction."
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Feldman was responsible for Fort Lauderdale's "building boom,” but also responsible for neglecting infrastructure problems.
Fast forward, the city manager now making the same amount, 255 thousand dollars a year, in Gainesville.
Former Mayor and City Commissioner Mark Goldstein said this is simply too much money for the size of the city.
“Bringing that kind of salary from Fort Lauderdale here, when we're not the same size when our budget is smaller… is typical of this city commission,” Goldstein said.
Tampa's Chief of Staff John Bennett will make $200,000 this fiscal year.
Miami's City Manager Emilio Gonzalez, tells TV20 his salary is $265,000 yearly.
In Tallahassee, a city closer in size to Gainesville shells out $232,000 a year for Ricardo Fernandez, city manager of the state capital.
Feldman's salary is comparable to, if not more than, what's being paid in Florida's larger cities.
Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe said the reasoning lies within their “Total Rewards Study," something they hired a consulting group to do.
This was supposed to gather data around Florida to find a mid-point range for salaries, to help raise Gainesville's salaries to that standard over the next three years.
Feldman's predecessor, Anthony Lyons, made $222,000 back in 2016.
Aside from Mayor Poe, city commissioners could not be reached, or would not go on record about the issue.
According to salary.com, the cost of living in Gainesville is quite a bit lower - meaning Feldman could also save up to 30,000 on expenses and bills versus Fort Lauderdale.
As part of his contract, Feldman will also get 13 hundred dollars a month for housing his first 6 months here, and a severance of $98,000 or 20 weeks pay if fired with less than 4 commissioner's vote.