Memo for fiscal year 2020, updated 2019-03-15

[Archived] Question #39: What would it cost to implement the 2007 recommendation that staff assistance be increased to 1.0 FTE for Council and to 1.5 FTE for the Mayor?


What would it cost to implement the 2007 recommendation of the Committee Created to Review the Elections Process for Alexandria City Council and the School Board that staff assistance be increased to 1.0 FTE for Council and to 1.5 FTE for the Mayor? (Vice Mayor Bennett-Parker)


The FY 2020 budget includes $203,500 in part-time funding for six City Council Aides (the Mayor’s Aide is a full-time position). These positions are salaried positions at a cost of $31,500, based on the assumption of 20 hours per week. Currently, City Council Aides are administratively appointed and are considered temporary as they serve at the will of their councilmember and their councilmember’s term is a condition of their employment.

The cost to increase the six part-time City Council Aides to full-time, and include an additional part-time Aide for the Mayor, is approximately $318,000. A summary of the costs for each type of position are listed below.

The benefits a full-time City Council Aide would receive include FICA costs, health insurance, life insurance, and long-term disability.  Full-time City Council Aides would also become eligible to elect to participate in voluntary benefits such as insurance for dental and vision. The estimated cost of $12,015 for health insurance equates to the annual costs for the Kaiser employee +1 plan.  This plan is used for new and vacant positions because the cost closely aligns to the average of all health plan options. Actual health insurance costs could be higher or lower depending on City Council Aide benefit elections.

BM 39 - Object 1

It should be noted that due to the provisional (i.e., temporary appointment) nature of Council Aide positions, they are not eligible for Virginia Retirement System benefits but could be made eligible for City Supplemental Retirement System benefits or could potentially be provided deferred compensation 457 retirement monies.

This estimate does not include any equipment or space requirements needed for the additional FTE for the mayoral position. Also, the estimated full-time pay for a City Council Aides exceeds the current salary of the Mayor’s Aide by $366.  As such, the salaries for the mayor’s aides should also be reviewed which may affect the projected costs provided in this memo for the part-time mayor’s aide.

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