Dewey Beach employees will have a few extra dollars in their pocket this Labor Day weekend.
Thirty of the town’s year-round staff – from police to Town Hall administrators – got a $570 bonus added to their paycheck, Aug. 29, said Town Manager Marc Appelbaum.
“The town really cares about its employees,” Appelbaum said. “Everybody’s rewarded if we hit our numbers.”
The policy stems from a period in 2008, when the town faced a deficit of more than $700,000. As a former commissioner and chairman of the budget and finance committee, Appelbaum flipped the deficit into a surplus of more than $300,000 by February 2010. He and other commissioners at the time, including former Mayor Rick Solloway, also initiated a policy that rewarded employees for helping the town hit its budget for the year.
According to Resolution 138 – adopted in 2009 – town employees receive an annual holiday appreciation bonus of $250, regardless of the status of the town’s budget.
If the town meets its budget goal at the end of the fiscal year, the resolution states, year-round employees receive another $250.
If the town exceeds its budget goal by $100,000 or more, employees are given even more money. “The total amount of this employee performance bonus shall be 5 percent of the amount by which the town’s audited financial performance exceeds its budget goal,” the resolution states.
This year, Appelbaum said, the town dished out a total of about $17,000 for employee bonuses, and it still ended the fiscal year March 31 with a surplus of more than $200,000.
“Our town is solid, which has been reported by our accounting firm,” Appelbaum said. “They got paid yesterday, it’s already in their paycheck.”
Police Sgt. Cliff Dempsey said the bonuses helped boost morale in the police department. “It tells the employees that we’re doing a good job,” he said.
Dempsey said the extra money was especially nice with Labor Day approaching. “We’re ready for things to slow down,” he said. “We just keep our heads pointed at the wind, and we keep moving forward.”