Mayor Bob Bratina has just issued a public statement in which he expressed "regret" for "any negative inference that my comments may have created" after indicating earlier this week that the decision to give Peggy Chapman, his chief of staff, a $30,000 raise originated in the City's Human Resources department.
Bratina's statement clarified that the salary review that resulted in Chapman's income increasing form $90,000 to $120,000 was "my responsibility as mayor".
He concluded by saying it is "time to put this unfortunate distraction behind us" and focus instead on "the many important issues and exciting opportunities" that face Council in the new year.
When the Spectator reported the pay raise on Wednesday, Bratina was quoted from the previous day, saying, "HR reviewed Peggy's employment status and found that she was vastly undercompensated based on job description and history. I didn't give a raise, she didn't ask for a raise."
The next day, an email from Human Resources director Helen Hale Tomasik clarified that it had only responded to a request from Mayor's office for information on salary ranges, and that it was the Mayor who had determined Chapman's salary increase.
Yesterday, Council met in camera to consider whether the matter warranted a formal censure against the Mayor for violating the Council Code of Conduct or some other action. Bratina did not attend the meeting, so Council plans to meet again this coming Tuesday to give the mayor a chance to respond.
Here is the Mayor's full statement:
Wednesday, in an interview I made comments regarding the salary adjustment given my Chief of Staff that left the impression that the initiative originated in the Human Resources Department. This was not the case, as I noted in the clarification I issued when I realized the impression that had been created by my remarks. I regret any negative inference that may have been created. The issue of salary review for this office is, of course, my responsibility as mayor. While I did seek comparative historical information from Human Resources and while I acted on the basis of that information, it was not my intention to suggest that the final approval was anyone's other than my own. It is time to put this unfortunate distraction behind us, and hopefully we can get back to tackling the many important issues and exciting opportunities that we will face as a council in the coming year.
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