KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – City council members voted 4-1 to open negotiations with City Manager Scott Kornegay for a raise.
In April, Kornegay’s performance was evaluated. Out of a possible five, council members scored Kornegay between 4.44 and 4.64 in 10 categories, such as “citizen relations,” “fiscal management” and “community.”
“The results of the evaluation pretty much speak for itself,” Council Member Stephen Hart said. “You have a couple outliers but generally speaking, the results are quite favorable.”
There were five questions a category. Mayor Karen Lake gave lower scores than the other four council members, including former council member Steve Brown, who departed in April. Lake voted against starting negotiations.
Hart motioned to enter negotiations with Kornegay with a 2% base salary increase derived from the Consumer Price Index and a merit raise. Kornegay’s current base salary is $71,500.
The day after meeting, Lake addressed her vote via a written statement. Lake said she was willing to keep an open mind and poll a group of residents to understand residents want from the position. She added that Keystone does not provide some of the services that comparable municipalities have, such as electric or wastewater, which contributed to her “no” vote.
“As a city, I don’t believe we have ever paid anyone this amount of money before. As a budgetary officer, I’m concerned about dedicating 10% of our annual budget to one position and the impact it will have on future hires,” Lake wrote. “While people think of Keystone Heights as being 'bigger,' in actuality, we’re 1 square mile. I try to serve 'at-large' in Keystone Heights as a mayor, socially, but financially in the City of Keystone Heights, we’re one square mile.”
Later in the meeting, Kornegay announced the city’s partnership with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office’s “Clay Community Connect” surveillance program to monitor four cameras on Sunrise Boulevard.
Deputies presented information about the program at previous meetings. Council members had been looking for ways to thwart vandalism, most notably incidents at Keystone Beach earlier in the year.
“What this program does is give the sheriff’s office real-time access to security cameras in municipalities,” Kornegay said. “It comes at no cost to the city.”
In other business, council members discussed the city’s policy regarding fowl within city limits. The current ordinance says residents, “... may keep, on the owner's property, one and only one, hen chicken, drake, duck or drake, or other domestic fowl, which is considered a household pet by the occupants.” Council members had a hard time keeping a straight face.
Council Member Tony Brown shot down the idea of increasing the limit citing cleanliness, and Hart agreed. The discussion was dropped.