After Protest, Gretsas Rejects Own Pay Raise

     It seemed like the whole world was glued to their T.V. sets last Tuesday night, waiting to see who would be the next President of the United States . 

     Well, nearly the whole world. The exception was the Fort Lauderdale Mayor and City Commissioners, and a group of angry protestors that attended Tuesday’s City Commission meeting. The meeting lasted until nearly midnight. 

                           
                                      The Angry Mob !

     
The angry citizens had come to the City Commission meeting to object to the final reading of a resolution that would have given a 5%, across the board pay raise to all of the City’s non-union employees.
 
     That non-union group includes all of the City’s upper management, and at the top of the food chain is City Manager George Gretsas, City Attorney Harry Stewart, the City Clerk and City Auditor. The Big Four take down over $750,000 yearly from the City.  

     The pay raise resolution had passed on first reading weeks ago, with all but Commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom voting yes, but had built up lots of opposition in the community over the past few weeks. 

     Among others attending the meeting to oppose the pay raise was Mayoral candidate Earl Rynerson. He came with a contingent of protestors that wore red shirts emblazoned with the message “No Pay Raises”. The group contended that in these tough economic times, a pay raise for those at the top was ridiculous. 

                                    
                                 Some of the Red Shirt Protesters

     The protesting worked. City Manager George Gretsas, after a long disertation of his accomplishments during his tenure, volunteered to forego his raise. The City Attorney, City Clerk and City Auditor quickly followed.

     The pay raise, without the Big Four included in it, passed, with Mayor Naugle, Commissioner Hutchinson, and Commissioner Moore voting yes, and Commissioners Rodstrom and Teel opposing.

      Sometimes the squeaky wheel can demand some grease!