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Published: Friday, 1/10/2003

Ford grants pay raises, rescinds them

Mayor Jack Ford gave and then took back pay raises for two administrators.

The mayor authorized, then rescinded, an annual pay boost of $8,000 for Megan Vahey, his public information officer, and $6,000 for Jimmy Gaines, the commissioner of treatment services. Ms. Vahey, 23, is paid $52,000. Mr. Gaines, 53, is paid $69,500.

Ms. Vahey said the raises were in recognition of additional work responsibilities, but the mayor told her Wednesday the raises had been canceled.

The mayor's decision was made the day after an inquiry from The Blade.

With an $8 million deficit facing the general fund, “he does not wish to add anything to the budget,” she said. “People are picking up additional duties and not doing it for additional money. We're in tough budget times, and that's just a fact of life.”

The city's largest union, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Local 7, agreed in May to accept a wage freeze for 2003. The administration is negotiating to try to gain the same agreement from unions representing police patrol and command officers, firefighters and chiefs, and Teamsters.

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