A Scrooge-like economy couldn't steal away the giving spirit at Erie County Health Department, where board members approved raises of up to 6 percent for administrators and 4 percent for rank-and-file workers.
"They've been financially responsible in spending the money, so we thought the raises were appropriate," said Linda Miller-Moore, board president.
Nine of 11 board members were present, and they unanimously approved the increases to kick in with the new year.
Three administrators' salaries were increased 6 percent, two increased 5 percent and one increased 4 percent. Non-administrative employees will receive wage increases up to 4 percent, depend-ing on performance evaluations done by one ofthe six administrators who oversee them.
Topping the list of the six administrative earners is health commissioner Pete Schade, whose $110,780 annual salary will jump 6 percent, to $117,416.
Also receiving a 6 percent raise was Joe Palmucci, director of administrative services, whose salary will jump from $65,624 to $69,555, and Janet Mesenburg, director of nursing, whose salary will increase from $60,236 to $63,856.
Receiving a 5 percent increase was Robert England, director of environmental health, and Scott Thom, construction programs administrator. England's annual salary will jump from $61,443 to $64,521, while Thom's will go from $60,819 to $63,856.
Community health director Sharon Schaeffer received a 4 percent increase, bumping her yearly earnings from $61,651 to $64,126.
Schade said he asked board members to approve the increases for management and staff based on objectives the employees completed throughout the year. He asked board members for a 4 percent increase for himself, but after a brief closed-door meeting without Schade, the board opted to give him a 6 percent raise.
Erie County Health Department employs 56 full-time workers and 48 part-timers, all of whom will be given raises of up to 4 percent.
The health department projects an $80,000 cash carryover from 2009 to 2010, and its annual budget is expected to increase about $300,000, from $6.2 million to $6.5 million.