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February 24, 2013

Council to change comparison cities

GREENVILLE — The City Council may decide Tuesday to expand the number of cities which can be compared to Greenville.

McKinney, Terrell and Sulphur Springs would be added to the list of “comparison cities” used as a benchmark whenever the Council considers issues such as pay for city employees, while Lancaster would be removed.

The Council is scheduled to vote on the list during Tuesday’s regular session, starting at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Building, 2821 Washington Street. A work session is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday.

In a memo to the Council, Finance Director Cliff Copeland said the Audit and Finance Committee met February 8 to consider changes to the cities used as benchmarks for issues of property taxes, employee pay, quality of life and more.

The six cities, also sometimes referred to as the “market cities” of comparable size to Greenville, included Cleburne, Lancaster, Rockwall, Waxahachie, Weatherford and Wylie.

“The Audit and Finance Committee used a matrix that compared population, tax rate, median income, city services, assessed valuations, and proximity to cities that recruit employees from this area,” Copeland said. “The Committee recommended removing the City of Lancaster and adding McKinney, Terrell, and Sulphur Springs to the list of Comparison Cities.  McKinney would be used for wage comparison only while Sulphur Springs and Terrell for economic development comparisons.

Should the City Council approve these comparison cities, additional information will be sought from each one in order to better measure the City’s performance on issues such as pay, fees, policies, growth management, and economic development.”

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