By: Sharon Aron Baron
The City of Tamarac has awarded city manager Michael Cernech a merit award at the April 25, 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. His five-year contract included an annual starting salary of $202,500 with a three percent raise every year. Also included are 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.
Currently earning $249,049.00 plus benefits, the commission voted 4-1 to award him the maximum three percent raise of $7,471.47, which brings his salary to $256,520.47.
In 2017, we reported Cernech earned $241,795.00 plus benefits and received a three percent raise of $7,253.85.
In 2015, the Sun Sentinel reported that Fort Lauderdale’s city manager made $230,000 (population 178,752), Pembroke Pines’ makes $275,000 (population 168,587). Recently hired Coral Springs city manager Michael Goodrum earns $215,000, however, prior to his hiring, their recently retired city manager earned only $218,400 in 2015 (population 130,000). Parkland’s city commissioner earns $180,000 salary as of 2017 (population 31,507).
According to 2016 figures, Tamarac has a population of 65,000 residents.
In previous years, the raise was accepted without discussion flying under the radar on the consent agenda. This year, Commissioner Marlon Bolton, asked for the item to be pulled for discussion from the consent agenda for a separate vote. The commission voted 4-1 with Bolton voting no.
Although the mayor and commissioners didn’t say anything during the vote, Bolton said he was disappointed the most that Vice Mayor Michelle Gomez stayed silent.
“There is no guarantee that the city manager will get a merit increase each year,” said Bolton. We, the commission, are elected to make decisions as they come before us, but unfortunately my colleagues voted to continue to waste taxpayer’s money.”