The City Council held a closed session on personnel matters at the Tuesday, Jan. 17 meeting, and the results of that closed meeting were revealed at the very end of the regular meeting, which began at 5:30 p.m.
The closed session began at 4 p.m. and the personnel matter was an evaluation of City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba, who took over the top job in city government on Feb. 1, 2022.
The evaluation evidently went well because the result was that City Councilmember Yvonne Johnson made a motion to give Jaiyeoba a raise to $300,000 a year. Johnson’s motion passed with no comment by an 8-1 vote, with Councilmember Zack Matheny casting the lone no vote.
Jaiyeoba had been hired at a salary of $280,000, so he received a raise of 7.1 percent – much larger than rank and file city employees receive each year.
The vote was a little unusual in that no member of the City Council talked about what a great job Jaiyeoba was doing or why he deserved a 7.1 percent raise. Matheny made no comment about why he voted against the raise.
The City Council has a long tradition of giving the two employees who work directly for them, the city manager and the city attorney, larger raises than rank and file city employees receive.
The salaries for both the city attorney and the city manager have skyrocketed in the past few years.
In 2021, when David Parrish was hired as city manager in 2018, his salary was $194,000. In October 2019, Parrish received a raise to $217,000.
At the Jan. 3 City Council meeting, City Attorney Chuck Watts received a $15,000 raise to bring his salary $260,000 per year. That raise passed unanimously and was also without comment.
Former City Attorney Tom Carruthers was being paid $180,000 a year when he resigned in October 2018. Watts was hired on June 1, 2019 at a salary of $190,000 a year. In March 2022 Watts received a raise of $32,000 to bring his salary to $245,000.
,So since Watts began working for the city in 2019, he has received raises totaling $70,000, or about 38 percent of his original salary.