Council Approves Budget, New Pay Increases For LCG Employees
The Lafayette Conslidated Government's 2014 budget was approved tonight alongside significant pay increases for all Lafayette government employees.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council approved the budget along with a 7.5 percent pay increase for itself, a $100,000 pay increase for Lafayette Utilities System director Terry Huval, pay increases by the thousands for most department directors and an overall 3.5 percent pay increase for all Lafayette Consolidated Government employees.
Although a 2.5 percent pay increase for LCG's nearly 2,300 employees was already on the books for the next fiscal year, Council Member Kenneth Boudreaux, District 4, presented an amendment — titled "Exhibit 1" — that revealed the increases.
The Council's increase is on top of that 2.5 percent, bringing its total salary increase to 10 percent.
Huval and the directors' increases are listed by dollar amount and are also on top of the 2.5 percent already listed in the budget's text. All other employees will see the additional 1 percent added to the 2.5 percent, totaling their raise to 3.5 percent.
Council Members Jared Bellard, District 5, and William Theriot, District 9, voted against the amendment. They said the Council was not provided with data involved in Huval's pay increase or other directors' increases at or before the meeting.
Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel defended the amendment and Huval's sizable raise.
“This should not have taken me ten years, eight years to do," he said, noting that Huval's dual roles as director of both LUS and LUS Fiber warrants the raise, especially when compared to market rates for the same position.
"If this had been done incrementally. . . it wouldn’t be nearly the discussion that it is," he continued.
Durel said Huval was hired at market rate, yet did not receive adequate raises over the years as LUS grew in size and instituted the fiber system. He said if Huval were to leave his position, a replacement hire would require a salary well over $200,000.
Huval's annual salary in the proposed budget was $143,081. The raise will bring it to $243,081.
Pay increases adopted tonight that go into effect in November include:
- $10,000 for public works and parks and recreation directors, along with chief financial officer Lorrie Toups
- $5,000 to the chief of police, fire chief and international trade manager
- $4,000 to the chief information officer and the director of community development
- $2,500 to the planned zoning district director
- $4,484.02 to the clerk of council
- $2,900.81 to one of two administrative secretaries
- $2,957.08 to the other of two administrative secretaries
- $1,874 to the council clerk