No Raise Is Too Little For Nashville Mayor Briley’s Staff While Remainder of City Employees Left Out of Pay Increases

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In a year where Metro Nashville’s rank and file workers learned they would not get promised cost of living increases, Nashville Mayor David Briley gave merit raises to 20 members of his own staff, WSMV reported.

Two of the mayor’s staff received 6 percent increases.

One Briley staffer, Chief Strategy Officer Brian Kelsey, got a $7,178 raise, increasing his salary to $126,824. Briley also gave merit-based raises to department heads.

Briley’s decision to reverse the cost of living adjustments – COLAs – for Metro employees created a lot of controversy.

Nashville Fire Chief Will Swann refused his 2.5 percent pay increase, choosing to pass the Open Range money to 19 administrators under him.

Briley said that although city workers would not get cost of living adjustments this year, 71 percent of the city’s work force could expect their paychecks to increase during the coming year. Workers can get what are called step increases.

Metro Nashville’s being strapped for cash did not stop Briley from compiling a wish list of expensive projects like a $125 million floodwall for downtown, The Tennessee Star reported. Police officers and firefighters wanted the raises they were promised to help with the cost of living, WSMV reported. They were promised three years’ worth of raises and received a round last year.

Even with Nashville adding a skyfull of skyscrapers, it faced a $34 million revenue shortfall this year. Most of the new money has gone to debt service to pay for pretty and shiny projects like the Sounds baseball stadium and the convention center, plus more conventional needs like school improvements. Borrowing costs have increased about $100 million in the last five years.

Metro Council in June narrowly avoided a 50-cent property tax increase, Nashville Business Journal reported. The $2.23 billion budget did not fully fund the school system’s requests.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.







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4 Thoughts to “No Raise Is Too Little For Nashville Mayor Briley’s Staff While Remainder of City Employees Left Out of Pay Increases”

  1. […] city workers got shafted on the promised salary increases, The Tennessee Star previously reported in September. Two of the mayor’s staff received 6 percent increases. The city’s excuse for not […]

  2. Cannoneer2

    On the state level, McWherter did it, Sundquist did it, and Bredesen made sure his people were well paid while rank and file suffered. This is not surprising at all. Both parties are guilty.

  3. Angelito

    I just think it is so classy for Mayor Briley to tell Metro employees to pound sand regarding a raise they were promised, then arbitrarily gives his entire team raises.
    If I were a Metro employee, I would be infuriated with this insider, elitist garbage of a mayor.

  4. Wolf Woman

    Nashville gets a soccer stadium for the wealthy globalists who don’t care whether the “little people” want one or not. Meanwhile the “little people” get terrible public schools that indoctrinate our kids with social justice garbage instead of educating them. We don’t get sidewalks or convenient bus routes in our neighborhoods to help with traffic gridlock, and we get to dodge pot holes everywhere.

    Now to add insult to injury, watch for Metro property taxes to go up. We’ll get taxed more and our progressive mayor and his cronies will get raises. That’s what they call progress.