ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The city of Albuquerque’s second-in-command is defending a giant pay raise that will bump his salary to $180,000.
The 22 percent pay bump is not sitting too well with city councilors and city unions. However, Mayor Richard J. Berry said the pay hike was necessary to keep Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry in place.
Perry had applied for a position with the New Mexico Finance Authority.
Now Perry is defending the $33,000 bump in pay that will increase his salary from $147,000 to $180,000 a year.
As the city's second-in-command Perry said he's worth it.
“I don’t think that there is really anything to support that this salary is out of line,” Perry said. “I think my level of compensation is commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of the chief executive of the 31st largest city in the country.”
Perry said even with his raise he's not making nearly as much as CAOs in other major cities.
The mayor's defending the pay hike, too.
"Rob Perry is an experienced and valuable member of our team that has created over $14 million in taxpayer savings during the past four years," Berry said. "He was being recruited by another government agency, and I felt it was in the city's best interest to keep him in his current leadership position."
Despite that, City Councilor Ken Sanchez doesn't agree with the pay raise.
“I was shocked when I heard the news,” Sanchez said. “I just don't think it’s justifiable, and it's going to create a tremendous amount of animosity.”
The Albuquerque Police Officer’s Association is also upset and called Perry’s pay hike excessive.
“We feel offended with the fact that the mayor can be so generous to one but yet not treat all his employees in the same manner,” APOA President Officer Stephanie Lopez said. "We hope that as Albuquerque begins to work its way out of this economic shortfall he does not forget who he took money from in order to balance this city's budget."
In 2010, city employees across the board had their salaries cut. Recently, some have been offered a pay increase of about 1 percent. Police recently received a pay increase of a little more 2 percent.
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