The San Juan Daily Star
Guaynabo mayor raises salaries of municipal employees
Announces $2.7 million surplus
By John McPhaul
Guaynabo Mayor Edward O’Neill Rosa on Sunday announced a $2.7 million surplus for the past fiscal year and raised salaries for all municipality employees.
During his Message of Accomplishments, the first-term mayor also announced a series of public works with dozens of bids awarded with contracts, and implemented a new remuneration and classification plan for more than 1,899 municipal employees.
Starting Thursday, municipal public servants in Guaynabo received letters announcing new salary hikes ranging from $400 to $700, representing an impact of $6.9 million on the public treasury, O’Neill Rosa said.
The mayor outlined the adjustments he made after his arrival at the mayor’s office last January, which allowed him to adjust the finances of the city council with an increase in municipal taxes of $5 million (11% above estimates). It also showed a substantial increase in sales and use tax collections that totals $18 million (20% above the projection) and an increase of $750,000 (7%) in construction taxes.
“We have steered municipal finances seriously and transparently,” O’Neill Rosa said. “Without ceasing to do good public and social works, we have given stability to Guaynabo, once again gaining access to federal funds and regaining the confidence of investors, developers and, very importantly, the federal agencies in charge of rebuilding Puerto Rico.”
He also detailed progress in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s obligated funds of $54.4 million, with the obligation of 11 projects reaching $52 million. Likewise, the mayor announced the completion of negotiations with insurers where it was possible to invest $15.5 million above the $3.4 million to which the last administration had preliminarily agreed.
O’Neill Rosa also highlighted a $4.9 million investment in the purchase of vehicles for the recycling and beautification units, municipal police, environmental control and other agencies that deliver direct services to the communities.
Regarding the aforementioned public works, the mayor stressed that “there are nine construction projects representing $4.9 million for improvements to parks, streets and municipal roads and asphalt paving work for several public roads.”
“In process, there are 42 projects in the design of important areas such as the Tablado del Río, improvements in Avenida Ramírez de Arellano, sports complexes and ball parks in Santa Rosa 3,” the mayor announced. “Dozens of passive parks from various communities will be served in this effort.”
The mayor also announced the reinstatement of the summer bonus to public employees of $1,000, the increase in the Christmas Bonus to $1,200 and announced the new $6.9 million municipal payroll classification and remuneration plan.
“I have always known the importance of recognizing and remunerating the work of our municipal employees,” O’Neill Rosa said. “Since I arrived in January, they have not stopped working to lift our people up and give them, once again, the brightness of their five stars. These benefits reward their work and dedication. You are the best asset that our city has.”