LEAGUE CITY

Salaries for most League City government employees are competitive within surrounding cities, but compensation for some jobs lags behind the market, a recent study found.

Making those below-market jobs competitive would cost the city about $924,000, the study found.

The city council in April hired New York-based Segal Waters Consulting for $100,000 to determine whether city employees were paid enough or too much. Segal Waters also looked at job descriptions and recommended a few changes.

The study compared League City to Allen, Baytown, Bryan City, Dickinson, Friendswood, Galveston, Lewisville, Longview, Missouri City, Pearland, Richardson, Round Rock, Sugar Land, Texas City, Tyler and Webster.

While the city’s pay structure is mostly competitive, some classifications fell below the market and some were above it, according to the study.

The fire marshal position minimum salary is at 77 percent of the Houston-area market average, the lowest in the study.

Police minimum salaries are 107 percent of the market value, making those the most competitive of League City’s jobs.

The study recommends that the pay-raise promotion steps for police officers should be cut.

The study also looked at 50 job classifications and reviewed what jobs included supervisory duties and whether certain positions are exempt from overtime status.

Segal Waters chose 66 jobs to statistically represent all jobs, Ruth Ann Eledge, vice president and senior consultant, said.

The city has about 700 employees, city staff said.

The 66 jobs chosen represent 25 departments and all levels, from entry level to manager level. This sample represented 69 percent of the employees and 33 percent of the job titles, Eledge said.

Of those 66 jobs, 27 are below market and 12 are above market, she said.

“In general, the city’s pay policies and practices are similar to peer employers,” Eledge said.

Segal Waters looked at entry level, midpoint and maximum pay for the jobs in the sample.

City Manager John Baumgartner proposed cutting two steps for police promotion. Under the present structure, it takes a police officer 19 years to top out at the highest salary, he said. Other cities allow police officers to top out in 12 years or less, he said.

The study also factored in data from the Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin areas, Councilman Nick Long said. League City employee salaries could be lagging behind those markets, Long said.

“We are beating most of the cities in the Houston area,” Long said. “You could make the case it’s much cheaper to live here.”

Segal Waters will come back to the city council to show the aggregate of the Houston area only.

The city council would have to vote to approve pay increases for those jobs below market. That would mean fixing inequities in the future to balance out those salaries that, at present, are above market, Long said.

“Obviously, we don’t want to bring people down from where they are at,” he said.

Valerie Wells: 409-683-5246; valerie.wells@galvnews.com

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(2) comments

chad tressler

The headline is misleading - why specify that "some jobs lag", when in the fifth paragraph you state "...some classifications fell below the market and some were above..."? Furthermore, you completely misrepresent the comments of Nick Long. If you check the video of the council workshop from 14 November 2017, you can find it here (http://leaguecitytx.swagit.com/play/11142017-1274) at the 19:54 mark, Nick Long specifically asked, "Do we have the data pulling out the DFW and the Austin? Have we looked at the data... just using Houston, and just using our area? And the reason for that is DFW and Austin have a significantly higher cost of living, and if you look at the data and look at the Houston comparitive cities, we are beating most of the cities in the Houston area... but you could easily make the case that it's much cheaper to live here that in Austin and the DFW area, and I don't know how much we actually compete with Austin and DFW for soome of these job titles. Certainly for [law enforcement] officers we compete with them, but I don't know if we compete with them on other jobs." To which Kinsey said "Director Up we compete". To say that Nick Long wanted MORE information comparing salaries to DFW and Austin is actually the complete opposite of what he was stating/asking. (And City Manager John Baumgartner even clearly summarized it by stating, "I heard Nick ask the questions related to using geographic data just for the Houston area...") Please correct this article to accurately reflect what was stated at the meeting. Given the rather contentious nature of local politics in League City, the last thing that's needed is inaccurate reporting adding fuel to the fire.

Valerie Wells

Thanks, Chad. You are right. We are fixing it now.

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