Orange County commissioners vote to raise their salaries

Orange County commissioners voted Tuesday to raise their salaries, and also that of the county mayor.

Commissioners will start making about $113,000 a year, while Mayor Jerry Demings will make nearly $228,000 a year. County staff said this raise brings commissioners' and the mayor's salaries in line with other large Florida counties.

Mayor Demings wasn't at the meeting and county staff said he didn't vote in favor of the increase. With Commissioners Wilson and Bonilla voting against it, it passed by four votes. 

"I do not agree with using a percentage of the increase of the commissioners' pay as what the mayor's increase should be," Commissioner Bonilla said before voting.

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After commissioners asked county staff to conduct a market analysis of salaries last year, workers concluded that the county's leaders were making less than those at other large counties, like Broward, Palm Beach, and Hillsborough.

Orange County commissioners currently make about $91,000 per year and Mayor Demings makes nearly $183,000. Orange County residents said the raise seemed fair. 

"I think it's a good thing, they finally realize it needs to be on par with the existing norm that has been there, so I think that makes sense," said Arunima Sharma, an Orange County resident.

Neither Mayor Demings nor any of the county commissioners was available for comment. The new salary payments begin Sept. 17.