City Hall belt tightening didn’t prevent two Council members from recently handing out raises to staffers.
Councilman Bill Green this month gave raises to five of his staffers, including a $30,000 bump to his Chief of Staff Sophie Bryan, bringing her salary to $100,000. In total, Green increased his staff salaries by $42,500 and is now paying $354,720 to his 7-person office, according to city data.
Green, who aggressively advocated for cost-cutting during the city budget hearings, stressed that Bryan, a Harvard-educated attorney, was underpaid.
“I have a very productive and hardworking council staff. Frankly, my chief of staff is overqualified for her position and I needed to pay people appropriately based on their value to City Council and my office,” Green said.
In May, Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez gave small raises to 6 staffers and increased the hourly rate for 2 part-timers, for a total of at least $15,500 more in payroll costs. Her 12-person office now costs $396,300.
Sanchez did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.
Even with the increases, Green and Sanchez -- who are in their first terms -- still do not spend as much on staffers as some of the more senior members. Councilwoman Marian Tasco has a payroll of $593,699 and Councilwoman Janie Blackwell spends $526,070 on her staff. And, the cost of these raises is within Council’s allocated budget for the current fiscal year.
“We start out with budgets that are far behind our senior colleagues and we haven’t come close to catching up,” said Green. “But to be competitive with other offices and the administration, I need to pay my people appropriately. As you know, I’ve already lost one staffer to the administration.”
One of Green's staffers joined the Nutter administration earlier this year.