Rust said his average level driver starts around $52,000 where other city’s drivers don’t even start that low.
City Manager Jerry Blaisdell said the city is beginning to get out of the market for hiring good people and needs to do something to rectify it.
“I don’t know how to get back without developing some other revenue sources,” Blaisdell said. “This isn’t something you do overnight. We need to see a marked increase in our sales tax or this is something we may never get caught up from.”
Other city departments also made their needs for additional personnel known after cuts back in 2008 trimmed many of them. Parks and Recreation Director Danielle Felts said her department lost seven employees since the 2008 cuts and is looking to replace them at the rate of two per year. The FY 2014 budget includes the addition of two groundskeepers for the department.
Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Shannon Goodman said each grounds keeper is responsible for taking care of about 41 acres of land throughout the city.
“Each one you add will make the job more manageable,” Goodman said.
As the city continues to grow, more and more is expected of departments to maintain the level of customer service residents and the council want to see. Many department heads that use the department come from outside the city.
Other budget work sessions will be scheduled over the next several weeks to make final decisions on the budget.