Petersburg employee receives nearly $20K raise amid budget crisis

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PETERSBURG, Va. -- As the city of Petersburg continues to find ways to reduce the city’s $12 million budget deficit, a city employee has been given a promotion with a near $20,000 raise.

Sabrina Everson was promoted from a building maintenance inspector making nearly $33,000 a year to a property maintenance official, where she will make over $52,000, the city confirms to CBS 6.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Council member Brian Moore.

Councilman Brian Moore said frustration was his reaction to recent news of a city employee receiving a promotion and a nearly $20,000 pay raise.

“Were supposed to have the freeze on and right now at a point of trying to negotiate cuts I would think that we would try not to do things that are not positive,” he explained.

In fact, last week a consulting group hired by the city recommended numerous city cuts, including a 10 percent pay cut to all city employees for one year and a reduction in school funding by $4 million, among other suggestions.

Council member Brian Moore

Council member Brian Moore

“It's really not fair," said one concerned resident.

“What kind of message does this send when the city is working to cut critical services and residents see a nearly $20k raise for an employee?” Chelsea Rarrick asked Moore.

“Probably not viewed as positive… There are a lot of things that are going on but we need to make sure we're moving forward,” Moore responded.

Early this month CBS 6 reported Tangela Innis got a $10,000 raise when she became the city's new operations manager. Her salary jumped from $79,948 to $90,341.

Although many are on edge amid the budget crisis, some residents say there shouldn't be a rush to judgment about the raises.

“I think before we go judging it maybe we should ask more questions," said resident Gina Harrison.