Proposed Friedel raise breeds debate

Proposed Friedel raise breeds debate

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RACINE — What direction should be given to the Committee of the Whole when it meets to consider the extension of City Administrator Tom Friedel’s contract and a proposed 31 percent raise for the position was the source of debate during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Aldermen debated whether signing off on the Finance and Personnel Committee’s vote to have the request sent to the Committee of the Whole with a recommendation supporting the proposed raise would mean the council itself was actually supporting that recommendation.

Alderman Sandy Weidner made a proposal to table the finance committee’s recommendation so the Committee of the Whole could meet to discuss the extension of Friedel’s contract without a recommendation on what kind of raise he may or may not deserve.

Mayor John Dickert and even City Attorney Rob Weber seemed to have different understandings of what tabling the item — a move alderman supported 8-7 — might actually do.

Dickert requested the body take a five-minute recess, after which City Council President Dennis Wiser made a direct referral to send the item to the Committee of the Whole.

It is not yet clear when the committee will meet to discuss the raise, but Friedel’s six-year contract will expire on July 12, 2015.

During the public comment period of the meeting, three residents spoke out against the proposed raised for his position, which would take his salary from $99,237 to $130,000 by July 13, 2016.

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