Sal DiCiccio, Phoenix Councilman, Deserves Special Criticism For Approving $78,000-A-Year Pay Raise for Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos

Categories: Budget Blunders

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Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio
Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio, who has spent the better part of the past two year railing about bloated government and excessive employee salaries, was the last person anyone expected to approve a massive $78,000-a-year pay raise for City Manager David Cavazos.

DiCiccio and the City Council have been slapped around by critics and others who are incensed that they gave Cavazos such an obscene raise -- increasing his salary from $237,000 to $315,000 a year.

But for DiCiccio, who has wailed the loudest and even twisted statistics on employee pay to punctuate his outrage, the vote was especially hypocritical.

See also: Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon Blasts Councilman Sal DiCiccio for Twisting Truth About Employee Pay

In a Q & A with the Arizona Republic, DiCiccio defends his decision by saying that "David has been an outstanding manager." He also says that for Phoenix to compete in a global economy, it needs the "right quarterback who can move the ball. David is Phoenix's franchise player."

Outstanding? The right quarterback? A franchise player?

Over the past couple years, DiCiccio has demonstrated that he doesn't even think Cavazos is doing a good job running the city.

DiCiccio has blasted Phoenix for going down the same path as Greece, Detroit and Bell, California -- cities that have reached near financial ruin because of excessive spending, including on bloated salaries.

Interesting since Cavazos has been running the city since 2009.

DiCiccio, who hasn't returned our calls seeking comment, even accused Cavazos last year of intentionally hiding information from the public regarding employee pay raises until after the controversial food tax was approved.

DiCiccio was trying to prove that the food tax was only approved to cover those employee pay raises, which were no where near the 33 percent bump Cavazos pocketed.

He wrote at the time: "I have contended that City Manager Cavazos purposely withheld this information from the public ... almost all these pay raises go directly to government union workers.

DiCiccio hasn't even agreed with major policy decisions that Cavazos has presented to the Phoenix City Council.

During an April 18, the Phoenix City Council considered labor contracts for employees. Cavazos recommended, in part, restoring some of the money that employees gave up in the past couple years to help offset the deficits Phoenix faced.

DiCiccio said that he did not believe the City should give pay raises, pointed out that people in the private sector took 15 to 25 percent pay cuts, lost of their homes and possibly their jobs, according to city records.

He also noted that "this was still a tough economy and he found it unacceptable to grant pay raises while citizens were in distress," according to meeting minutes.

As Cavazos explained the terms of the agreements, DiCiccio said that he "believed the agreements were unfair to the public as citizens should be protected first."

DiCiccio voted no.

DiCiccio was also at odds with Cavazos' recommendations on the city budget.

On May 16, when the council cast a vote giving a preliminary nod to the city manager's budget, DiCiccio vote no. And, on June 19, DiCiccio also voted against the final adoption of the budget.

DiCiccio disagrees with Cavazos leadership on labor contracts, the city budget, and has had complaints about how he has been managing the city into Greece-like disaster. But, now, suddenly, the guy's franchise player?

It's a flip-flop of typical DiCiccio proportions -- much like when he was a pal of the unions that helped him get appointed to the City Council, and now he does his best to bust them six ways from Sunday.

Funny that DiCiccio misses the concept of having a "franchise player" -- which is not only to have an individual who can perform, but one around whom an even greater team can be built. And it just so happens that the team ready to help Cavazos "move the ball" is made up of the very rank-and-file employees DiCiccio seems to enjoy tearing down for his political gain.

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The proverbial shit will hit the fan and splatter all over Cavazos and DiCiccio when the real state of the City's budget is revealed.  Cavazos has essentially told budget personnel to submit numbers that cast the budget in a favorable light when in fact the budget is anything but favorable.  These guys won't tell you that the police and fire dept. pensions make up 75% of the City pension budget because they don't have the balls to touch those sacred cows.  And yes, this is the same Cavazos who turns tail and runs leaving Ed Zuercher to answer when the budget is under negative scrutiny, the same Cavazos who is barely tolerated by rank and file City managers and personnel and viewed by most as a two-faced, conniving slimeball, the same Cavazos who will likely parlay his false record into a new job before years end.  Mark my words, you heard it here first!


Great article Monica.  Thank you for not letting this slime slither by without informing the public of it.  There are plenty of people out of work that are more than qualified to be city managers that would take this job without the pay raise and also put the real city workers first versus themselves.

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