Before Danville went “wet” in 2010, two police officer positions had been “frozen” and not open for hiring, Gosser said. Alcohol taxes allowed those positions to once again be filled, bringing the department to 33 sworn officers. If commissioners approve the budget, alcohol taxes will allow the city to have 34 sworn police officers.
The receipts also will cover the cost of outfitting police cruisers with video cameras, which helps protect officers as well as record evidence required for driving under the influence convictions, Scott said.
In other business, resident Gordon Howe questioned commissioners about Scott’s salary of $92,000 per year as well as benefits such as health insurance and a $500 a month car allowance. Before Scott was hired Monday, he earned about $72,000 per year as interim city manager, according to documents obtained under an open records request. Because other city employees are receiving a 1.5 percent cost-of-living salary increase under the proposed budget, Scott’s salary increase is especially excessive, Howe said.
“It seems like a payoff to me,” Howe said.
Mayor Bernie Hunstad said Scott’s salary is less than those of many city managers handling cities of similar size to Danville. After the meeting, Hunstad also noted that of the three finalists for the position, Scott asked for the lowest amount of salary and benefits.