By: Sharon Aron Baron
The City of Tamarac has awarded city manager Michael Cernech a one time merit award at the March 22, commission meeting.
Working with the city since 2001, Cernech was appointed city manager in 2011 after serving as deputy city manager and assistant city manager. According to the Sun Sentinel, his five-year contract included an annual starting salary of $202,500 with a three percent raise every year and health and dental insurance, paid for by the city as well as an $800-a-month car allowance, $120-a-month cell phone allowance and a $1 million life insurance policy. The city also provides him with equipment to work from home including a laptop, iPad and digital camera. He is also eligible for an up to three percent merit pay increase.
Currently earning $241,795.00 plus benefits, the commission has awarded the maximum three percent merit award every year.. This year that merit award was $7,253.85, which brings his salary to $249,048.
But is this salary in line with Broward County cities? According to census information, Tamarac had a population of 63,155 residents in 2013. The city manager for Fort Lauderdale, a city that has three times the amount of residents (172,389), just received a raise to earn $237,035 annually. In Hollywood, with a population of 146,526, over twice the population of Tamarac, the incoming city manager in 2015 had a starting salary of $189,000 plus a $500 car allowance. In Deerfield Beach, population 78,041, the city manager earned $185,000 – and that was after a $19,000 raise to keep him on the job.
Even Coral Springs’ city manager who started the same year as Cernech, earned only $218,400 in 2015. In 2013, he declined a pay raise, and in 2015 he wouldn’t take more than a four percent raise although he was offered five percent. Coral Springs’ population is 126,604 which is twice the amount of Tamarac.
When Tamarac Talk brought up the merit award, several of our readers had opinions:
Gary Megel: The Florida Secretary of State is paid $140,000… which is more than the governor ($130,273).
Joe Morguess Wonder if this will be in the form of a motion -discussed, considered, then voted upon, so justification/reasons 4 proposed raise become part of the record?
Answer: No, this was never voted on or discussed.
Jeanne Megel: Here’s an interesting fact – if you Google R-2011-04, you will discover that this same “one time” bonus has popped up FIVE times. Please tell me how FIVE times constitutes a “one time” bonus?? Nowhere does it seem to say how much the bonus is, yet this goes on every year? Talk about time to “drain the swamp,” it’s getting pretty deep here in Tamarac!
Jack O’neill That’s how it goes. If you don’t like it, put in for the job and lower your salary…
Susan Emert This bonus thing is unnecessary. He gets paid a good salary. A “bonus ” implies a job over and above. Did he do that? He’s not the CEO of a. Fortune 500.
Ashley Grimme true… and just looked him up.. he owns a house in Parkland , doesn’t even live in the city of Tamarac.
Answer: It is not written in our charter that the city manager must live in Tamarac although many cities require this in their charters.
Ken Mosholder Hey, it’s only taxpayer money!