Thursday, January 11, 2001

Winburn: Shirey deserves a pay raise

Councilman often critic of manager

By Robert Anglen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        After a year of bashing Cincinnati's city manager and demanding his resignation, Councilman Charlie Winburn did the unexpected Wednesday.

        He asked that John Shirey be given a raise.

        Specifically, he asked council to approve a 3 percent cost of living adjustment for the manager, even though the city doesn't give those raises to any other employee.

        “He deserves it,” Mr. Winburn said. “It is the right thing to do.”

        His move, along with a request that council support the raise, took fellow council members by surprise at Wednesday's meeting. But nobody was more surprised than Mr. Shirey.

        “It's certainly something I feel I deserve,” he said, adding that he has not gotten a raise from council since 1999. “I'm just happy that any thought and consideration was given to the whole notion.”

        Hired in 1993, Mr. Shirey oversees the daily operation of the city, which has 7,000 employees. But for nearly two years, his $149,000-a-year job has see-sawed between complaints by council members and controversies within his administration. In June 1999, council voted to give him a pay raise but suspended an evaluation until December.

        Since then, council members have criticized Mr. Shirey several times for what they called failure to keep them informed and for scandals involving city employees, including failure by housing officials to monitor spending and the diversion of $15 million in street repair money over seven years to unapproved projects.

        One of his most vocal critics has been Mr. Winburn.

        “I want to make it clear that this is not a merit increase,” Mr. Winburn said Wednesday.


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- Winburn: Shirey deserves a pay raise
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