By Erika Webb
Acting Deltona City Manager, Dave Denny, will get a 10 percent pay raise.
The city commission voted unanimously April 15 to approve a compensation package for Mr. Denny that commissioners agreed is more in line with his duties as acting city manager, and the duties he's retained from his position as deputy.
The agreement is for April 13 through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.
Mr. Denny has been in the interim role since February when former Deltona city manager Faith Miller resigned, but when he accepted, there was no discussion about adjusting his salary to compensate for the increased workload. As deputy, his annual salary was just over $118,000.
The hike in pay to just over $130,000 is still lower than that of Ms. Miller who was making $133,000 annually.
In a memo dated March 20, Mr. Denny complied with the commission's request for a list of his terms should he continue as acting city manager through the end of the fiscal year.
Among those terms was the 10 percent pay increase, continued use of a city vehicle for city business, vacation accrual at the existing rate, but without caps.
"Currently I am unable to take vacation," Mr. Denny noted.
He also asked to be able to accrue sick time at the existing rate.
That was a sticking point with Commissioner Webster Barnaby who said many in the private sector, mainly the self-employed, do not get paid when they are sick. He said he doesn't see why "we have to pay people when they are not sick."
"The luxury of being a public-sector employee sometimes is taken so advantage of so many times," Commissioner Barnaby said.
Commissioner Heidi Herzberg said being self-employed or working in the private sector and accepting those terms is an individual choice.
"He's doing the job of what we were paying two salaries for," she said of Mr. Denny.
Commissioner Chris Nabicht agreed with Commissioner Herzberg, adding he was offended by Commissioner Barnaby's use of the word "luxury."
"When we look at the compensation package we can't pick one or two things out, we look at the total value of what the position is worth," Commissioner Nabicht said. "It's not a luxury. It's adequate compensation for the job and the duties that are associated with a city of this size."
Vice Mayor Zenaida Denizac said she thinks the 10 percent is "more than fair" considering the hours Mr. Denny has been working. The vice mayor added she has received emails questioning Mr. Denny's qualifications.
"I don't want to put you on the spot but Mr. Denny if you could mention some of your qualifications ... for the benefit of the public?" she asked.
The acting city manager said he became Deltona's utility director in Jan. 2004, "just after the city purchased the water and sewer company from Florida Water Services."
Prior to taking the position with Deltona he worked for Florida Water Services in a variety of positions. As vice president of operations and engineering his duties included overseeing budgets, regulatory compliance and meeting financial goals for 157 water and wastewater plants in 26 Florida counties, staffed with 370 employees.
"We had systems as far north as Amelia Island, which is north of Jacksonville, to south of the Georgia border to Marco Island on the southwest coast and all in between, with Deltona here being one of them," he explained.
"We served about 700,000 customers in those different systems," he said.
Mr. Denny was hired as Deltona's deputy city manager in February 2006.
Mayor John Masiarczyk said he would like to have a workshop to discuss future plans for the position, and the possibility of an assistant for Mr. Denny should he be hired as city manager.
"I want him to have the title of city manager," Mayor Masiarczyk said.
Also included in Mr. Denny's proposal were provisions should he retire, resign or be terminated during the time he's acting city manager.
He asked to be paid for all accrued and unused sick time, and to receive severance pay: one month's salary if separation occurs before May 31; two months' compensation if between June 1 and July 31; and three months' pay if he leaves between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30.
Mr. Denny requested that should the commission decide to do a search for a permanent city manager he would be allowed to return to the position of deputy city manager with pay reverting to his current salary "plus any raises, if any, given to the general employees."
"As deputy city manager, I will retain the ability to be paid all accrued and unused vacation and sick time," Mr. Denny proposed.