The Metroparks Board of Commissioners authorized CEO Brian Zimmerman's salary increase at their final meeting of 2013 this morning. Starting today, Zimmerman will collect $178,000 a year, up from the $165,000 he makes currently. That's an increase of roughly 7.5 percent.
Immediately prior to that action item, Metroparks chief HR officer Harold Harrison presented a plan for merit-based raises. In that format, the Metroparks' most exemplary employees (top 15 percent) would see a 4.25 percent pay increase. That's well below the annual increases that Zimmerman has received since he arrived in 2010 making $145,000.
Scene covered the Metroparks finances related to the November levy, the lakefront parks and CEO Brian Zimmerman in a cover story this week. Mark Naymik, at the NEOMG, also wrote a column calling Zimmerman's salary into question.
The central tension at this morning's meeting, though, had less to do with compensation and more to do with development near Metroparks land.
Developer Andrew Brickman was in attendance. He seemed displeased that the commissioners voted to table the discussion about his condo plan in Fairview Park which will abut Rocky River Reservation. Commissioner Bruce Rinker said he'd prefer to wait until further geo-technical analysis has been hashed out among Metroparks experts.
Rinker, an attorney familiar with the terminology and potential thorns of zoning and real estate, asked good questions and espoused patience and caution throughout.
According to a public comment, Brickman had been so angered the last time he appeared at a Metroparks meeting — evidently a vote didn't swing his way — he had to be escorted out by a uniformed security guard.