“She is the presiding officer,” Brechbill said. “She sets the rules. She’s charged with maintaining order and running the meeting smoothly."
The council approved the bonus amount, which will be paid out to employees who earn less than $100,000 a year. The council will discuss bonuses for employees making more than that on Nov. 23.
Henry, who supported the bonus plan, said during the meeting that many employees are dealing with financial uncertainty because of the pandemic and could use the cash. The bonuses would also show that city officials appreciate those workers who are not able to work from home, she said.
Palermo and other members wanted to delay the vote for two weeks in order to gain more insight into how the bonuses would be distributed. He also asked to discuss additional raises for first responders.
Bonuses were briefly mentioned in a slide presentation by finance director Ryan Luckett during an Oct. 26 work session, but no amount was included at that time. Monday was the first public discussion of the bonus amount, council members said.
City Council received documents at the end of last week which indicated the bonus would be up for a vote Monday, Henry said during the meeting, repeatedly adding that her fellow legislators were unprepared.
“If you pay attention to the level of questions of this council,” Councilman Marcelo Zapata said at Monday’s meeting, “You will realize that we are all prepared, but we are not ready to vote.”
Council members approved the $1.5 million amount for staffers making less than $100,000. But Palermo was blocked from voting when he asked for more discussion on the matter.
“Excuse me, you’re out of order again Mr. Palermo,” Henry said. “I’m not quite certain what it is about this process that you’re having trouble with. We’ve got a motion, we’ve got a second and I’ve called for a vote.”
Palermo was attempting to make a case for more time when Henry muted his sound and carried out the vote.