Groveland mayor could cut his pay before cutting workers' salaries

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GROVELAND, Fla. - The mayor of Groveland told WFTV reporter Berndt Petersen that he wants to cut his pay and the pay of Groveland City Council members, before cutting the salaries of 100 city employees.

However, employees aren't completely in the clear until their pay and benefits are compared to other city workers in Central Florida.

Groveland Mayor Mike Radzik said he believes in fairness.

"If we're going to tell them that they need to take a cut, then I believe we need to do the same thing for us," said Radzik.

City council could be forced to make deep budget cuts this year, and the mayor said it should start with the council itself.

Radzik said his monthly salary of $1,050 and a council member's $850 salary are too high for part-time jobs.  The salary discussion started as officials took a closer look at the wages of city employees.

He said raises based on length of service, an extra paycheck for everybody in late December and bonuses for continuing education will cost the city more than $150,000 this year. 

The mayor wants to find out if that compensation is too low. 

Radzik said some police officers buy their own bulletproof vests and workers in other city departments also use their own money to buy work equipment. 

Radzik said it costs the average Groveland resident just 73 cents a day for police protection, fire protection and every other service the city provides.   

However, if cuts still have to come, he said city council has to do its part.

"But if we have to go ahead and do anything with our staff, my position is you need to lead by example," Radzik said.

City council will meet on Monday night and on Tuesday night and to decide whether to hire a firm to compare city workers' salaries.

The cost of the salary study is $5,000.