Mayor Jim Suttle wants to give his top aide a $25,000 raise.
Suttle's 2013 budget proposal includes the large salary bump for Steve Oltmans, the mayor's chief of staff and former general manager of the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District.
With the raise, Oltmans would make $150,000 next year, compared with Suttle's proposed $110,369.
The Mayor's Office announced in 2009 that its staff members had agreed to a four-year pay freeze.
But Aida Amoura, a mayoral spokeswoman, said Oltmans' raise was because of work performed for the Parks Department after its director resigned in February. The parks department has also eliminated 41 positions through attrition in the past several years, Amoura said.
“The mayor just felt it was appropriate to compensate him for taking on additional duties in Parks,” Amoura said of Oltmans. “Steve taking on extra duties was cheaper than bringing someone else onboard. . . . (He's) got a good background for that, so it was easy for him to step in and help.”
Oltmans, a longtime friend of the mayor's, most recently served as a business development manager for the Olsson Associates engineering consulting firm. His chief of staff job includes responsibilities for day-to-day operations at City Hall.
Suttle has endured past criticism for pay raises granted to some of his Cabinet appointments.
Several other top city officials would receive pay raises under next year's budget.
The public works director is set to receive $157,625, a $9,000 increase over 2012.
The library director's salary would increase more than $10,000, going from $119,025 in 2012 to $129,737 in 2013.
Pam Spaccarotella, the city's finance director, is also set to receive a $25,000 salary increase.
The former Werner Enterprises executive was hired in July 2009 at a $180,000 annual salary.
She later voluntarily took a $40,000 pay cut.
Spaccarotella's proposed $165,000 salary for 2013 would bring her in line with her 2011 salary. In 2012, she again voluntarily cut her salary to $140,000.
Amoura said the finance director's raise was also performance-based.
“She's saved the city millions of dollars,” Amoura said. “She's just gone above and beyond the call of duty.”
The annual salary for Omaha's next police chief is budgeted to be $150,000. The top human resources official in town is due to receive $145,000.
The budget must still receive input and approval from the City Council. A public hearing before the council is scheduled for Aug. 14 at 7 p.m.
Next year's general fund budget, which pays for services such as police, fire and public works, is $319.8 million, up from $311.2 million. Of that jump, some $5.9 million relates to wage increases or higher health care costs.
While several top city officials would receive large raises, the city is budgeting 1.75 percent raises for police, fire and civilian personnel.
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