City Clerk gets raise, gambling fees increased

The Gilroy City Council held a regular meeting Monday, Jan. 9 at

With no discussion, City Council voted 7-0 Monday night during its regular meeting to give the City Clerk a 3 percent merit salary raise.

Resident Tom Espersen spoke highly of City Clerk Shawna Freels during the public comment portion of the discussion. 

“Shawna is the finest ambassador this city can have,” Espersen said. “She’s very thorough, very professional. I think her raise should be 6 percent, not a puny 3 percent.”

Freels’ raise will take effect January 2013. The 3 percent raise boosts her annual salary from $99,653 to $102,643 – a $2,989 yearly increase. Freels received a 5 percent raise in January 2009.

In March, Freels became a Master Municipal Clerk – an advanced clerk certification process administered by a statewide clerk association – and was honored with a  plaque during a Council meeting for this achievement in June. 

Also during Monday’s meeting:

Council voted 5-1 to approve raising gambling fees within the city limits, as recommended by the Gilroy Police Department.

The fee increases involve a $5,000 charge for gambling establishments that ask to modify the City’s policies in handling casinos. This idea was sparked in September when Ky Phuon, owner of Garlic City Casino on Monterey Road asked Council to consider modifying their gambling ordinance to allow unlimited wagering in accordance with those set by the state, and to allow for any game approved by the state to be played in Gilroy, with approval of the Chief of Police.

Council obliged with Phuon, and handed the issue to the GPD to examine fees. To offset the staff hours dedicated to the change proposed by Garlic City Casino (the only gambling establishment in town), fees should be raised, according to the GPD.

Other fee increases include a jump from $104 to $340 per employee at a gambling establishment to cover police-issued background checks. 

Bracco voted against the motion, citing his disapproval for extra fees targeting any small business in town. 

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