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Firm to study city employee compensation

September 07, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN

andrews@herald-mail.com

A financial consulting firm was hired Tuesday to review what Hagerstown gives its employees.

The City Council approved Springsted Inc.'s $58,750 bid to do the compensation review.

Hendricks & Associates of Washington, D.C., bid less - $38,995 - but the city was not required to accept the lowest bid, according to Human Resources Director Donna Messina.

Messina said cost was one factor; experience was another. A bid-review committee wanted a company familiar with government agencies. She said Hagerstown has a unique mix of municipal jobs, including police officer, firefighter and electrical lineman.

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The city received seven bids for the job. Three bids were rejected because they didn't meet the specifications the city outlined.

Of the four bids that were considered, The Waters Consulting Group of Dallas had the highest at $82,250.

The Segal Co. of Washington, D.C., submitted a bid of $80,000.

Springsted is based in St. Paul, Minn. Its closest offices are in Richmond and Virginia Beach, Va., and Washington, D.C., according to its Web site.

Messina said this will be the first time Hagerstown's government will study how it compensates employees.

Five city employees were part of the bid-review committee.

Four represented unions: Tommy Kline, a public works, water and sewer employee; Wayne Hose of the police department; Todd Paylor of the light department; and Todd Grimes of the fire department.

Caroline Twigg represented nonunion employees.

In a memo to City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman, the committee said it met at the end of August with representatives of the four companies whose bids were considered.

"Springsted provided summaries of similar studies they have completed, and the committee was most impressed with the clarity of the reports," the memo says. "They have vast experience conducting such studies for state and local governments, including one for Washington (County).

"One of their representatives assigned to our project has actual experience working in state and local government. They clearly demonstrated their abilities to communicate effectively with employees in all areas of our organization."

Washington County agreed to hire Springsted in November 2002.

In April 2003, after a $61,530 study, Springsted reported that the county should give raises of at least 2 percent to be competitive with employers in surrounding areas.

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