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Orange County commissioners give themselves a 25% pay raise

Orange County Commissioner Emily Bonilla opposed a 25% pay increase for Mayor Jerry Demings.
Orange County government
Orange County Commissioner Emily Bonilla opposed a 25% pay increase for Mayor Jerry Demings.

Orange County commissioners gave themselves and Mayor Jerry Demings a hefty pay raise on Tuesday.

The nearly 25% increase brings the commissioners’ salary to $113,608 a year. It's based on a state formula used for commissioners in other counties.

Commissioners applied the same percentage increase to Demings’ pay, lifting his salary to $227,812. The mayor had left the meeting before the vote.

Future increases will match the pay raises of non-union employees.

Commissioner Emily Bonilla attempted to split off the mayor’s salary and slash his pay increase. She suggested about $190,000, which would amount to a 4% pay hike.

"I do not agree with using a percentage of the increase of the commissioners’ pay as what the mayor’s increase should be," Bonilla explained. "And I felt that some research should have been done on comparing him to the other constitutional officers."

Constitutional officers include the sheriff, tax collector and property appraiser. The mayor's role in Orange County is part of a charter system of government and includes administrative functions along with chairmanship on the commission.

Bonilla's motion failed to win any support.

The pay increases passed 4-to-2, with Bonilla and Commissioner Nicole Wilson voting no.

Joe Byrnes came to Central Florida Public Media from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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