The Omaha City Council discussed a salary raise for city maintenance employees Tuesday. 

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The City Council held a public hearing on an ordinance that would raise the salary range for the city maintenance foreman (CMF) II position by about $10,000. The duties for the position include managing maintenance projects for various departments like streets and parks. 

Human Resources Director Deb Sanders said only 10 of 18 budgeted positions are currently filled, but departments are working to fill those vacancies. She said the salary raise was necessary because CMF IIs have taken on more duties from the higher level CMF IIIs. 

“Specifically in the parks department, there used to be a number of CMF IIIs, and that was reduced over time to one,” Sanders said.

Councilmember Vinny Palermo said the foremen’s responsibilities include overseeing private contractors for jobs like snow removal. Palermo has previously railed against hiring private contractors instead of paying city employees, and he questioned why those agreements are necessary if city employees are taking on more duties.

“It’s not that I don’t feel city employees deserve more because everyone does,” Palermo said. “It’s just the fact that we do have these agreements in front of us that to me look like we’re trying to help other people out instead of city employees.”

A vote on the salary raise will be held next week.

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners also met for a brief, 12 minute meeting Tuesday.

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