Orlando mayor, commissioners seek 21 percent pay raise

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ORLANDO, Fla. - After going 10 years without a salary increase, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and city commissioners decided it was time.

Next year, they're set to get a 21 percent raise.

If approved, Dyer's salary would go from $160,000 to $195,000 a year.

Commissioners would earn $60,000, up from $49,000 annually.

Police will see a 2 percent raise.

Jerry Smith has lived in Orlando his whole life.

The roofer said he's worked to support his family without a single raise in years.

Smith wasn't pleased to hear the news and said many people need help.

"Real crazy. Why do they need all that money and get raises like that? A lot of people can't even get jobs," Smith said.

Eyewitness News asked Mayor Dyer about some constituents' concerns and how they justify the raise.

"Well, periodically over the years we do market surveys for all of our employees," Dyer said.

Dyer said the raise is in line with other public CEOs and is based on the city's population growth.

City commissioner Robert Stuart and Tony Ortiz voted against it.

With the city working to close a $12 million budget gap Ortiz said he felt it wasn't right.

"I don't think I should have a raise for that amount. There's too much to be done in our community," Ortiz said.

Eyewitness News researched mayoral salaries in Florida's five most populous cities.

Jacksonville is the most populous.

Its mayor makes $138,000 a year.

Next is Miami, where the mayor takes home less than $100,000 a year.

In Tampa, the mayor is paid $150,000.

Neighboring St. Petersburg's mayor gets $158,000.

Even before his pay raise, Mayor Dyer still makes the most at $160,000.

He walked away during a final question, letting his aide step in.

"Mayor recently you said you would do the job for free," asked Channel 9's Anthony DiLorenzo.

"We're good, he's got other places to go," said his aide.