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Raises on the way for Longboat manager, attorney

Commissioners voted 7-0 to approve a 3% raise for Tom Harmer following a positive job evaluation.

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  • | 7:38 p.m. September 13, 2021
Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer has filled his position since December 2017.
Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer has filled his position since December 2017.
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Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer and Town Attorney Maggie Mooney are in line to receive raises following positive job evaluations from the Town Commission.

Commissioners delivered their annual evaluations of Harmer and Mooney at Monday afternoon’s Town Commission meeting.

“I always tell the commission individually that I (am) really not asking for a raise,” Harmer said. “I think that’s at commission discretion. The way my contact is written that if they’re going to give a raise, then they should talk about it and do it when they do my evaluation.”

Public records show Harmer made $203,362 in the last fiscal year. Commissioners voted 7-0 on Monday to give Harmer a 3% raise beginning Oct. 1

“I don’t make everything happen in the town. I’m just one of 130, so it’s really the employees,” Harmer said. “When I provide a highlighted list of accomplishments for the town, when we’re doing retreats or updates and quarterly reports, there’s a lot of fingerprints on that.”

Commissioners evaluated Harmer in 10 categories with a score of 3 representing the highest mark he could receive. The categories are professional skills and expertise, commission relations, citizen and public relations, policy execution, intergovernmental relations, staffing and management, fiscal management, planning and organizational development, leadership and decision making and individual characteristics.

Several commissioners praised Harmer for his work during the last fiscal year. Mayor Ken Schneier mentioned Harmer’s ability to deal with town staff and seven commissioners.

“I think Tom has really figured out how to do both in a superb fashion, both in terms of the communication and in terms of dealing appropriately and stimulating his staff to do the best that they can possibly do,” Schneier said.

Schneier also mentioned Harmer’s intergovernmental relations with Sarasota County. 

“He is just invaluable in helping with us,” Schneier said of Harmer.

Vice Mayor Mike Haycock said he appreciates Harmer’s communication skills with the monthly briefs, surveys, interaction with the community and “Talk of the Town” YouTube videos.

“I gave him a perfect score, so obviously I think very highly of Tom and my interaction with him,” Haycock said.

At-Large Commissioner BJ Bishop praised Harmer’s ability to work with the differing personalities of the Town Commission.

“I have worked (with) seven town managers in my career, two of which we had to fire back where I come from, and I can say that in working with all seven of them, I have never appreciated working with a town manager who is not only effective, but also is able to work so effectively with a commission of seven,” Bishop said. “It’s not easy to get seven elected officials that you have to keep happy on a day-to-day basis.”

Maggie Mooney has filled her position as town attorney since July 2013.
Maggie Mooney has filled her position as town attorney since July 2013.

As part of a fee agreement with the town, Mooney’s law firm Persson, Cohen & Mooney, P.A. has an hourly rate that is adjusted each year on Oct. 1 by the Consumer Price Index. Mooney cited a 1.7% rise in the CPI as the reason to increase her hourly salary to $252 and her associates to $236 per hour.

Last year, Mooney’s hourly rate was $244 and her associates made $228 per hour.

“The only thing I would like to add to this, which really isn’t a review of her, as I understand that by contract, the increase in compensation is based on a pretty credible cost of living formula, which calls for a 1.7% increase,” Schneier said. “Anyone who’s bought anything in the last year knows that there’s no relationship to reality.

“I don’t think we’re in a position to change the contract, but I’d just like to put in staff’s mind that, that doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

Mooney had to leave Monday’s meeting early for other commitments, but did say in a statement that she appreciates the favorable review from commissioners and appreciates the constructive comments.

Commissioners evaluated Mooney in 11 categories and she could receive marks of Excellent, Fully Satisfactory, Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory for each. She earned more marks in the Excellent and Fully Satisfactory categories than anything else.


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