LARGO - Steve Stanton, Largo's city manager, wants more money for what he does and has made no bones about that. He has written to the mayor and commission asking that his pay be elevated to a level that is more "competitive."
With the 4 percent raise he got last year Stanton is currently paid a salary of $128,960.
That does not include the $450 a month vehicle allowance, $100 a month for "pocket change," a full expense account, a cell phone, and - out of the realm of actual money but still significant, absolutely no daily supervision of his activities.
Stanton has been city manager since 1993. In absolute and total command of the city administration, any fair minded assessment would have to credit him for heading a well-run ship.
While he just got a mixed review on the written evaluations submitted by the mayor and commission members, Stanton cited in his letter last Friday his longevity on the job that has led to stability in the city and indicates his commitment to the city as positive elements in his favor.
Mayor Pat Gerard and Commissioners Gay Gentry and Andy Guyette gave Stanton an excellent overall rating.
Commissioner Mary Black was less generous with her praise but was more favorable than last year. She said in her current evaluation that Stanton "needed improvement."
She specifically cited a need for better "administrative management, integrity and fairness."
Black wrote that elected officials and the public "need and deserve straightforward and truthful responses."
In looking at what he described as similar size cities, Stanton said in his letter to the elected officials that his salary was "not competitive."
He listed Pensacola, with a population of 75,000 (about the same as Largo), as paying its manager more than $148,000 annually; Boca Raton, with 80,000 residents, paying in the neighborhood of $184,000.
Clearwater's city manager gets about $148,000 to run a city of 115,000.
For comparison, Stanton also threw in Oldsmar, with 14,000 people, paying $116,296, and Seminole, with 18,500 residents, paying its manager about $118,000 a year.
Stanton wrote that in interviewing some people for key Largo jobs, those applicants expectation of salary was equal or higher to what he is being paid.
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