The Volusia County Council unanimously voted to give the county manager and county attorney a 5% raise after discussing their annual performance at the council's meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
This brings County Manager George Recktenwald's salary to about $259,041.79 from $246,706.47; and County Attorney Mike Dyer's salary to about $242,138.33 from $230,607.93, both retroactive to Sept. 30. The 5% raise equals what county employees received this fiscal year, and totals about $24,000 in increases.
Overall, the council expressed confidence in their leadership and guidance.
"In my time in ... state and local government, the overall experience that I've had with your teams, your leadership teams that serve beneath both of you have been exemplary," County Councilman David Santiago said.
County Councilman Don Dempsey said he had nothing bad to say about Recktenwald or Dyer, saying both have given him good advice. As an attorney himself for 33 years, however, Dempsey said, he wished Dyer would give the council more direction or emphasis on what paths to take when faced with certain issues.
"I know that can be a challenge for Mike trying to keep us under control sometimes and following his advice, but I am very satisfied with both George and Mike and I'm fully satisfied with their service," Dempsey said.
Councilman Troy Kent rated Recktenwald and Dyer on a 1-5 scale on certain categories, similar to the way the city of Ormond Beach rates its city manager and city attorney. Dyer received an average of 4.64 and Recktenwald an average of 4.04.
Most of his scores were high for both men; the lowest score he doled out was a "2" for Recktenwald's communication skills with the council.
"Council goals need to be a priority every January and updates given often on our progress towards those goals," Kent said. "As a council member, I should not be learning about events that look negatively towards our county from the media. I should receive a call so I'm not caught off guard with what's taking place in our county."
County Councilman Danny Robins said he appreciates the accessibility to both Recktenwald and Dyer, and how that extends to county staff.
"I trust their judgment and their legal advice has always been on point," Robins said.
County Council Chair Jeff Brower said that he received letters from the public asking the council to bring up a vote of no confidence for both Recktenwald and Dyer. But a lot of the criticism, he said, came from actions that originated with the council.
"While it was encouraging to me that the public is paying attention and wants to see things changed, I think sometimes the blame is misplaced," Brower said. "That blame should have rested on the seven people here. We give you direction and then you carry out that direction."