Lakeway officials greenlight pay bump for certain police personnel

Lakeway City Council met during a special called meeting May 4. (Screenshot courtesy city of Lakeway)
Lakeway City Council met during a special called meeting May 4. (Screenshot courtesy city of Lakeway)

Lakeway City Council met during a special called meeting May 4. (Screenshot courtesy city of Lakeway)

Based on a new report from a consulting firm hired by the city of Lakeway, City Council voted to approve pay adjustments for certain police officers during a special called meeting May 4.

The report came from consulting firm Evergreen Solutions LLC, and City Manager Julie Oakley said the recommendations within it extended from an August report on pay for certain city employees.

The recent report focused on recommendations for a new, merit-based pay system that incorporates cost-of-living increases and identifies strategies for controlling overtime and scheduling for police and emergency services workers, according to Betty Ressel, a representative for Evergreen Solutions.

Among the recommendations, the report proposed eliminating overtime for nonexempt, sworn police officers and reducing overtime for telecommunicators to four hours per pay period, Ressel said.

“That reduces overall overtime to 104 hours [per employee, annually],” Ressel said.

Ressel also discussed what she called a “police step plan” that would attract and retain high-quality officers that would have a total implementation cost of $43,575, which consists of pay increases for officers at or near the entry level.

“You have constant churning action going on with your police force where you’re continually losing and rehiring. ... And we’ve got to stop that bleeding at the early level,” Ressel said. “This brings these new people in the plan up to the new minimum.”

As one example, the Evergreen report suggests a probationary officer’s salary should go from a minimum of $50,977 to $53,500—a move Ressel said puts Lakeway at a competitive edge for pay against neighboring police departments.

Ressel said the $43,575 to bring new officers up to the recommended minimum pay would be the only additional cost to Lakeway’s budget, but Oakley clarified that was a one-time cost covered by a salary savings account already accounted for in the city’s budget.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


A pilot Austin Police Department cadet class is now set to commence in June under an updated training regimen and with additional city and community oversight on the APD academy's culture and curriculum. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Council votes to restart APD cadet training in June, with framework for ongoing reviews of pilot academy

The Austin Police Department's 144th cadet class will now kick off training next month, with continued oversight of APD's instruction and culture throughout the 34-week academy process.

A sign advertises a property for rent in Austin on May 6. Local eviction orders remain in place through August 1 protecting most tenants from eviction. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Local eviction moratoriums remain in effect despite federal judge’s decision

The May 5 ruling from a U.S. District Court judge striking down a federal moratorium does not affect orders in place in Austin or Travis County.

Juneau was adopted at Austin Animal Center in November 2019. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Animal Center reaches critical capacity, opens doors to all adopters for first time since May 2020

Austin and Travis County’s animal shelter, Austin Animal Center, reached negative kennel space May 4, meaning there are more dogs than available kennels, according to a release from the city of Austin.

Residential appraisal valuations have been sent to Travis County property owners. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis Central Appraisal Districts says hot housing market is reflected in 2021 appraisals

Property owners have until May 17 to file a protest of their home's appraisal.

The Austin City Council is set to meet May 6 to go over a 70-item agenda. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Votes on revamped APD cadet academy, possible shift in homeless strategy on tap May 6

Council may look to the possibility of establishing designated campgrounds for the Austin's homeless this spring, with a citywide public camping ban set to go into effect May 11.

The Wayback offers outdoor live music. (Courtesy Heather Thompson Photography)
Lake Travis mermaids, live music and more. Here's 13 things to do in the Lake Travis-Westlake region this spring

Here's a list of things to do in the Lake Travis-Westlake region from May to early June.

Heidi Sloan will assume the position of head of school on July 1. (Courtesy St. Michael's Catholic Academy)
St. Michael’s Catholic Academy announces new head of school

As director of academics, Sloan spearheaded the school’s Winter Term program—a global travel internship program currently in its sixth year.

Austin City Council will vote on whether to reboot the police department's training academy May 6. (Courtesy Austin Police Department)
Benchmarks for 'reimagined' APD cadet academy on track ahead of City Council commencement vote

Training of the Austin Police Department's 144th cadet class could get underway next month following an overhaul of the academy's instructional process and curriculum.

Photo of a gloved hand holding a vaccine vial with the words "vaccine news" superimposed
Austin-area health officials prep for vaccines to open to kids 12 and up

Austin-Travis County interim Health Authority Mark Escott said he expects the FDA to authorize Pfizer's vaccine for kids 12 and up within a week.

Catch up on election results from the Lake Travis-Westlake area. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
ROUNDUP: Election results, reactions from the Lake Travis-Westlake region

Lake Travis-Westlake residents took to the polls May 1 to cast their ballot in several location elections. Following the final results, the region will see a new mayor, a new school board member and changes to city charters.

Reunión 19 is serving tacos, burritos and more at The Waypoint Food Truck. (Courtesy Reunión 19)
East Austin taqueria opens location in Lake Travis food truck park

Reunión 19, an East Austin-based taqueria, opened a new food truck in April at The Waypoint Food Trailer Park in the Hudson Bend area.