The Oviedo City Council did not award Oviedo Police Department officers the pension increase they asked for Monday night, voting 4-1 to keep it at 3 percent. The local police union sought a jump to 4 percent after 15 years of service, saying that it would attract officers who’d stay with the city to retirement. The city and police union had been in negotiations for about one year and declared an impasse on the pension issue in June, which is why council had to make a decision this week. Some council members voiced concern in approving an increase after the city created its annual budget and before knowing the long-term costs of the increase.
“We just come out of COVID. We’re on shaky ground here,” said Council Member Judith Dolores Smith. “I wish I could give you more. You deserve more.”
Deputy Mayor Bob Pollack was the lone dissenting vote, suggesting that they bump the pension benefit to 3.2 percent.
“I feel like I’m letting the officers down,” he said.
Council also approved a tax rate of $5.28 per $1,000 of assessed property value for the city, which creates a .09 percent tax increase to balance the $15.6 million budget. Residents can weigh in on the tax rate at a hearing set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9.