Salisbury Mayor Day breaks down FY2023 budget

SALISBURY, Md. – During these challenging times of inflation, supply chain issues, and worker shortages, the City of Salisbury really had to tighten its belts and budget smarter while planning its FY2023 Budget.

Thursday morning at the Salisbury Fire Headquarters, Mayor Jake Day broke down that proposed budget for city employees.

“We want fair wages and if you look at neighboring jurisdictions and similar size cities we keep falling behind, about the only area where we are able to keep up a little bit is the police department and I want that for all of our employees,” Mayor Day said.

PAY RAISES:

With a proposed budget of over $70 million, Mayor Day wants to put that money to work. One highlight is pay increases at 6%,  8%, and 10%,  and in some cases even bigger. We’re told that raise won’t just be a benefit for city employees, the Salisbury residents who rely on them will also come out ahead.

“It acknowledges that we want to raise the bar for all city employees, so this raises the starting point for entry into the city, 8% and 10% are for 10 and beyond, 20 and beyond years of service to the city,” Mayor Day said.

“If these people have to worry about putting food on the table at the end of the day, I guarantee you, you will feel the disappointment about the quality of service that you receive; either because jobs are vacant or we couldn’t attract talented people,” Mayor Say said.

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING:

Another big to-do is extending collective bargaining rights to Salisbury firefighters. Locally, Salisbury has the only Fire Fighter Union in the state that’s not recognized by their municipalities.

“It’s a hard-fought battle that will do great things for this local in the future,” Ryan Jones, President of Salisbury Career Firefighters Local 4246, said. “The men and women will be able to fight for their better working conditions, better pay, things they have not been able to do in the past.”

Jones said this announcement is a step in the right direction and could bring new opportunities.

“To see the department grow both in its staffing and its retention rate, it’s a very, very competitive market,” Jones said. “It’s very hard to get firefighters to come apply, it’s very hard to keep them.”

The City said they are now at a point to negotiate the final details of the collective bargaining and send the legislation to the City Council.

INFRASTRUCTURE:

Mayor Day also highlighted infrastructure projects that will be tackled in the FY2023 budget. He said our capital spending has declined and more money needs to be invested into Salisbury. Mayor Day said he wants to see the Town Square completed and get construction started on the Rail-Trail. Also, North Prong Park will get more funding and the Mill Street Bridge should be replaced.

“Our capital infrastructure we are not investing enough in, we need more projects, because guess what that’s what produces a city with rising property values, that’s what produces a city that more people want to move to great parks, great trails, great infrastructure, great downtown, that’s what what we need and we can’t stop those investments,” Mayor Day said.

Other projects the Mayor has his eye on include replacing Salisbury’s Police cruisers and the fire department’s radio system.

There will be no increases in taxes for the FY23 budget.

Categories: Local News, Maryland